A maestro’s trinkets are selling for £1.5 million at Sothebys

A maestro’s trinkets are selling for £1.5 million at Sothebys


norman lebrecht

January 20, 2014

The auction house is selling off the furniture and knick-knacks of the early-music pioneer Gustav Leonhardt, who died two years ago this week.

A sample of the auctioneer’s patter: ‘It is not difficult to imagine the strong impression that Leonhardt’s students must have experienced when entering the house and being invited to play music in front of the great master and surrounded by his extraordinary collection. I only wish I had been there myself.. Read more here.

leonhardt cabinet


  • Have you ever joined Leonhardt’s historical living-quarters in Amsterdam, the ground-floorsection in particular? And this in late-autumn, winter or early-spring? You did?

    And did you survive the immense COLD within? Yes?

    You lucky bastard. I almost didn’t, every time I was there.

    And for what reason were these frosty conditions kept? To help the preservation of that damned old furniture of my beloved friend. The guy always wore thick clothes and an shawl and a strange pair of cloves that left his fingertips uncovered. Indeed, to able himself to play his harpsichord in this refrigerator-like circumstances.