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Topic: Auctioning rare sheet music in NYC  (Read 1488 times)

Offline byarbrough

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Auctioning rare sheet music in NYC
on: November 19, 2013, 06:00:33 PM
Hi everyone,

The organization I work for is hoping to auction some rare piano scores that formerly belonged to the Rothschild family. I've been looking at a few auction houses around New York City, and while many of them auction rare books, I haven't seen any that auction music scores as well. Does anyone have experience in this area? Thanks!

Offline j_menz

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Re: Auctioning rare sheet music in NYC
Reply #1 on: November 19, 2013, 10:18:11 PM
It depends on what you mean by "rare piano scores". Are we talking manuscripts, first editions? Are we talking famous or obscure composers?  It makes quite a difference.  A Mozart mss, for example, would be a whole different marketing proposition to a Ferde Grofe one and only edition (say).
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline byarbrough

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Re: Auctioning rare sheet music in NYC
Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 02:25:40 PM
I think their "rarity" is mostly due them being from the personal collection of a famous family. The scores themselves are a collection of songs, primarily from unknown composers, or they are shorter, easier pieces by well-known composers. I'm inclined to think that they aren't worth anything, but I've been asked to look into it.

Offline byarbrough

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Re: Auctioning rare sheet music in NYC
Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 02:27:27 PM
I should note, of course, that I know very little background information about them, which is why I'm trying to find an auction house that could tell me whether or not there's any point in trying to sell them. Thanks!

Offline j_menz

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Re: Auctioning rare sheet music in NYC
Reply #4 on: November 20, 2013, 10:24:26 PM
There are a number of music antiquarian bookshops in NY. It's probably worth your while to contact one or two of them direct.

Whilst the Rothschild connection may add some interest, it would depend on whose they were whether it actually added anything much in terms of value.

The song sheets are a specialist field, and there may be some gems in amongst them, but you would need an expert to go through and evaluate them.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant
 

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