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Musical Treasures Go Up for Auction

By Sara Schabas on October 23, 2023

The London auction house Christie’s is selling scores by composers including Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi, Bach and Wagner.

Details: On October 25th, Christie’s auction house in London will begin the auction of musical manuscripts from their Schøyen Collection. Entitled “The History of Western Music: Manuscripts from the Schøyen Collection,” the sale’s contents include a signed copy of Ravel’s Bolero, a first edition of Wagner’s Tannhaüser, Vaughan Williams’ A London Symphony, Bach’s Toccata in D Minor and Handel’s Coronation Anthems, amongst other musical treasures.

Going Deeper: Christie’s will also auction works that mark the development of Western classical music. These include a scroll in French Messine notation dated from 900 AD, as well as examples of Byzantine and early German musical notation.

Refresher: The Schøyen Collection is a collection of manuscripts spanning 5000 years of human civilization. The collection includes the Dead Sea Scrolls, biblical works of many different traditions such as the Tower of Babel Stele, literary and musical works including the Epic of Gilgamesh and works by Shakespeare, and more recently, movie scripts and storyboards.

Despite the priceless nature of these cultural artifacts, the Bach Toccata manuscript is expected to sell for between 40,000 and 60,000 GBP. Now’s your chance!

Sara Schabas
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