Saturday 16 November 2019

Mamma Mia! ABBA's Dancing Queen piano expected to make £800,000 at auction

Tribute band Bjorn Again with ABBA's Bolin grand piano, which is being auctioned at Sotheby's
Tribute band Bjorn Again with ABBA's Bolin grand piano, which is being auctioned at Sotheby's
Tribute band Bjorn Again play ABBA's Bolin grand piano, which is up for auction at Sotheby's

An ABBA piano which featured on the band's most popular hits will go under the hammer next month.

Expected to sell for up to £800,000, the Bolin grand piano was played on Mamma Mia, Waterloo and Dancing Queen and its sound has resonated across dancefloors around the world.

It is the first major piece of ABBA material to be auctioned, and comes with a certificate of authentication signed by band member Benny Andersson who described the piano as a "great source of inspiration".

Designed by Georg Bolin, a Swedish instrument-maker, the New York Times said the "space-age piano" represented Bolin's desire to produce an instrument that "gives the pianist the sensation of playing 'directly on the strings'".

It was originally built for American jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans, who said it was "one of the most unbelievable instruments I've ever played".

In 1967, the piano was purchased by Metronome Studios - now Atlantis Grammofon - in Stockholm, where it became known as "The ABBA Piano" and featured on almost all of the band's recordings between 1973 and 1977.

The Swedish band shot to fame after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 and their hits dominated charts in both the UK and the US. Their music inspired a generation of artists and was immortalised in the film and musical production Mamma Mia!

The ABBA Piano will be sold at Sotheby's in London on September 29, where it is expected to be one of the star attractions at the rock and pop auction.

Dr Philip W Errington, Sotheby's books and manuscripts specialist, said: "The opening piano glissando from Dancing Queen is one of the most distinctive sounds of the Seventies and we are delighted to offer the actual instrument used by the legendary ABBA in their major recordings. The piano itself is an instrument of real importance and with the added Abba provenance we expect it will have worldwide appeal."

It is not the first time a famous piano has appeared at auction.

John Lennon's Steinway upright piano, on which he composed Imagine, was sold for £1.67 million in 2000, while the piano which featured in the film Casablanca was sold for 3.4 million dollars (£2.2 million) last year.

PA Media

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