Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Entire Edinburgh Piano Company stock up for auction

Pianos up for auction Image copyright PA
Image caption James Cameron shows off the collection that will be auctioned in Edinburgh on Sunday

One of the largest collections of pianos in Scotland is going under the hammer this weekend in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh Piano Company has supplied concert pianos to many musicians, including Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti and Van Morrison.

The company's owner has decided to retire, prompting the sale of the entire stock.

About 90 pianos, ranging from £300 to an estimated £35,000, will be available to buy on Sunday.

The company was started up in the early 1980s by James Cameron, who came to the Scottish capital to study musical instrument technology.

He began to buy and sell old pianos, often carrying them up and down the stairs from his basement flat.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Cameron started his company in a basement flat in the 1980s

The business moved premises, eventually occupying a former car showroom and warehouse in the city's Joppa Road area, where the sale is taking place on Sunday 14 February.

Mr Cameron, 73, said: "As I cleared my desk I came across a drawer full of backstage passes covering many years of hiring our pianos for concerts, events, festivals and theatres.

"I remember Frank Sinatra at Ibrox Stadium back in 1990 when we provided a Bosendorfer Imperial grand, and then there was Pavarotti at the SECC with our Bosendorfer 275, and tours with Evelyn Glennie round the Highlands and Islands of Scotland with a little Steinway.

"I'm looking forward to retiring, I enjoyed the piano business very much for many years but there comes a time when you want to move on and do something else.

"There's more or less 90 pianos left. We just kept the stock up and kept the business going and then finally I decided to retire. There was nobody else prepared to take on the business - it's a big commitment."

Sean McIlroy, director of specialist auctioneers Piano Auctions Limited, said: "For us, this is really different - it's going to be a very special sale.

"Normally, you wouldn't have a piano dealer retiring and selling his entire stock by auction. What we have got here is beginner pianos from £300 right the way up to professional instruments at £30,000 to £40,000.

"There are many, many great makes here as well as everyday pianos for beginners, so there is something here for everyone.

"We've had interest from as far afield as China, America, Israel and across Europe, as well as piano dealers in the UK and a lot of private buyers looking for that perfect instrument for themselves."

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