Piano is the key to raising thousands

Professional pianist Mark Deeks, from Blyth, playing the vintage Steinway piano before its sale raised �7,200 for St Oswalds Hospice.
Professional pianist Mark Deeks, from Blyth, playing the vintage Steinway piano before its sale raised �7,200 for St Oswalds Hospice.

A collection of rare musical instruments donated to St Oswald’s Hospice has raised thousands of pounds after going under the hammer in Alnwick on Sunday.

Discovered last month during a legacy house clearance, the instruments included a mint condition 1907 Steinway B grand piano and two vintage violins.

The pieces, which were sold at Alnwick Auctions, were snapped up by individual bidders fetching a grand total of £10,000 for the North East charity.

The auction attracted collectors from across the UK, including the piano’s proud procurer – an anonymous Steinway agent from Leeds who placed a successful bid of £7,200.

Nigel Blagburn, owner of Alnwick Auctions, was delighted with the price.

He said: “It was really good and I am pleased at the amount raised for St Oswald’s. There were a lot of bidders in the room.”

It wasn’t just collectors who turned out to see the bidders compete for the prized piano. Local professional pianist, Mark Deeks from Blyth, offered to help show off the Steinway’s world-class sound by bringing his musical expertise to the auction and tinkling the ivories.

The funds raised through the auction will go directly towards funding St Oswald’s services, which needs £7million a year to operate.

Remaining artworks and art materials from the legacy supporter’s donation will go up for sale in another lot at Alnwick Auctions on Sunday, with viewing from 10am and starting at noon.

Andrew Moir, from St Oswald’s, said: “The £10,000 raised through the sale of the piano and violins is incredible for St Oswald’s and we are extremely grateful to everyone involved, especially the generous supporter who gifted us all of her household belongings.

“It’s amazing to come across rare finds such as these instruments through our house-clearance service, but we welcome any donations, big or small, to help support funding Hospice services.”