Auctioneers specialising in the sale of fine stringed instruments
Amati hosts monthly auctions offering antique violins, violas, cellos and bows. Our auctions and services have been carefully curated over decades of experience enabling a simple and quick selling experience overseen by our friendly team.
Amati Specialist – 29th June
Amati Affordable – 27th July
The Makers’ Sale – 31st August
Amati hosts four Specialist auctions a year in January, March, June and October with auction views at The Langham, London.
With four auctions a year the Amati Specialist auctions are for violins, violas, cellos and bows with exceptional value and authenticated makers. Typical prices will range from a few thousand to over a million pounds.
Amati Specialist Auctions attract a buoyant global market of professional players, investors, collectors and dealers. Auction viewing days are held in the beautiful surroundings of The Langham, London where we invite those who attend to inspect and play the instruments. Our Specialists and other members of the team are on hand to talk about the instruments and help with any questions about the auction process.
For those of you who are thinking of selling we encourage you to attend the view so you can see for yourself how instruments and bows are offered for auction and it is a lovely opportunity to meet the Amati team.
The Amati Affordable Auctions are held every other month and include violins, cellos, violas, bows and additional Lots such as trade books and cases. These auctions cater specifically for those instruments with a speculative attribution and European trade instruments and bows which were made in vast quantities in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
These auctions are our fun sales because all the Lots start off at no reserve leaving it to the bidders decide the true value of the Lots. As we say water finds its own level.
Typical prices will see final bids in the region of £200 to £5,000. The highest price so far achieved for a single Lot at an Amati Affordable Auction was £37,500!
Single Owner Collection
Over the last ten years, Amati has held numerous single owner collections ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred Lots. A typical auction, especially if it is a workshop sale could include instruments, bows, books, tools and all the paraphernalia one would expect over a lifetime of violin making.
Single Owner Collections are hugely popular with bidders because they often include a huge range of items all of which are coming to the market for the first time in decades. This often creates a buzz around the auction often termed ‘single owner magic’.
When it comes to helping family members of those friends and colleagues who are no longer with us, it is very important to us to offer a personal and gentle experience throughout the sales process. We are aware these times can be very emotional so are happy to offer as much support as necessary.
The Makers’ Sales
Once or twice a year we like to schedule a Makers’ Sale specifically for those people involved in violin making and restoration. In these auctions you can expect to find all sorts of items you would typically find in a workshop – varnishes, tools, wood, instruments which need some TLC and all sorts of accessories, bow hair, strings, cases and so on.
All the Lots are offered at no reserve which makes it a very affordable way to stock up on items you are running low on.
Amati is an auction house specialising in the sale of stringed musical instruments, specifically violins, violas, cellos, and bows.
Amati hosts eleven curated auctions a year – Amati Specialist, Amati Affordable, The Makers’ Sale and Single Owner Collections.
Rather than focus on just the very high end of the market, Amati reaches across all sectors and over decades we have nurtured a very large and still growing, UK and international client base.
Amati also offers a range of valuation services online, in person at one of our valuation days or in the comfort of your own home.
Amati sells a broad range of violins, violas, cellos and bows suitable for those just starting out to internationally recognised soloists.
Amati sells violins, violas, cellos and bows for every budget and level of skill, from a child’s first violin to the fine instruments of the professional musician. Our experienced and friendly team is at hand to help throughout the buying process.EXPLORE MORE
To bid on any of the items (known as Lots) you wish to buy, you need to register as a buyer. We recommend that you register in good time (at least an hour before a lot is due to end), as your registration must be processed before any bids are accepted.EXPLORE MORE
Once registered, you will be able to bid for items you want in Amati auctions. You can set your price by selecting a fixed increment from drop-down lists tailored to each lot. Bids can be placed from the time the live auction is published online until the auction closes. Each lot has a specific end time, as indicated by the ticking clock on each lot.EXPLORE MORE
Once the auction has finished, you will receive an email informing you if your bid was successful. An invoice will be emailed the day after the auction, or as soon as we have the shipping quotation. We will also include our commission (22% + VAT) on your final, successful bid (the hammer price).EXPLORE MORE
Occasionally, not all the lots in an auction are sold. If this is the case, we hold bidding open for the unsold lots.EXPLORE MORE
With auctions almost every month, Amati is well-placed to help you sell your instrument.
The first step is to find out how much your stringed instrument or bow is worth and, where possible, establish who made it.EXPLORE MORE
Sometimes instruments and bows require closer inspection in order to establish who made it and its potential value.EXPLORE MORE
If you decide to sell your instrument, the next step is to complete a consignment form. The consignment form is a written record of the agreed estimates, the reserve (if you and the specialist choose to set one) and the costs of sale, which include our standard seller’s fee.EXPLORE MORE
Back in Amati’s UK offices, we will describe and photograph your instrument in preparation for the auction catalogue. We are the only stringed instrument auctioneers who use 360° photography, which gives our buyers a clear view of the quality of your instrument.EXPLORE MORE
You will receive an email a few days after the auction informing you if your instrument was sold or unsold. If it sold, we will request payment information. Payment is sent by bank transfer 35 days after the auction date. We can also issue a Sterling cheque to UK clients, if that if your preference.EXPLORE MORE
Why sell with Amati?
Our Specialists take great care and effort in curating our auctions, giving bidders access to a wide variety of instruments coming to market often for the first time. This freshness sees us consistently achieve high percentage sold rates across all our auction types. Our increasing success over the last three years is a reflection of our growing client base and international reach.
Sold Lots Percentage
95% – 2021
94% – 2020
90% – 2019
Total percentage sold rate for Amati Specialist auctions over 2021.
Total percentage sold rates for Amati Affordable auctions over 2021.
“James Buchanan was a super nice guy with tons of information at his fingertips. He was efficient and helpful, as well as professional and friendly! It was a pleasure meeting up with him!”
“Just to say thank you to Simon for giving me a valuation on my 2 violins yesterday in Newcastle. His advice was very informative & it was a pleasure to meet him.”
“Thank you very much for your part in arranging our instrument valuation with Simon in Colchester yesterday. The experience greatly exceeded our expectations in the level of individual attention we received and care that he took over explaining the finer details. It was a very enjoyable and enlightening session; please pass on our thanks to him again, Best wishes, Elaine Henson and Stephen Mitchell”
“I would like to thank you and your colleagues for the highly efficient way you have dealt with this sale and for keeping me so well informed from start to conclusion of the sale.”
“I had a very positive experience with Amati who valued my two violins. The administration was very efficient and the location very convenient. I know very little about violins in general but the valuation session with Simon Howes was extremely interesting and informative. The arrangement was offered that I could contact Amati again if I wanted to auction my violins and I would certainly not hesitate to do so.”
“I sold a violin last year through Amati and they recently had my bow valued for free. Oswald, James, Sarah and Charlott are all incredibly helpful, polite, efficient and competent! I most recently spoke to James and he honestly couldn’t have been more helpful and insightful. I’m far from being an expert so it was extremely reassuring when the time was taken to provide me with all the information I could need. Oswald was similarly brilliant last year. As for the auction last year, it went well too and I was happy with the outcome. My thanks to the whole team. Amati is thoroughly recommended!”
“Payment received thank you very much, and thank you for your excellent service.”
“I was impressed with your complete service from my initial email and phone call to the fund transfer and everything in between”
“Many thanks for selling our late father’s violins for us. You did a great job!”
“Have a wonderful weekend and thank you. We are very pleased with what our violins have achieved and we’re happy that they are going to good homes where they are appreciated and played.”
“I look forward to receipt of the amount realised, after deduction for commission due to Amati. In the meantime, I would like to thank you and your colleagues for the highly efficient way you have dealt with this sale and for keeping me so well informed from start to conclusion of the sale.”
“From the first time we met in the valuation of Gothenburg has been a simple and pleasant dialogue on the sale of our items. Many thanks for your help!”
“It’s hard not to be pleased. Straight, clear information and regular updates. I give Charlott and James at Amati honours and my warmest recommendations.”
“Thank you also for your many phone calls and updates by email. This was a new experience for me, and my contact with Amati to date has been enjoyable and stress free.”
“Thank you for your email with the news about the sale of the Paul Bailly violin. It seems quite a good result and I am very pleased with the outcome.”
“Many thanks again to you and your colleagues, especially Oswald for the work undertaken to achieve a very good outcome in the sale of my violin and bow.”
“Wow, well done! Simply amazing, never thought that would happen.”
“I took my violin and a couple of bows to be valued at The Amati Exhibition at The Langham. The service was absolutely excellent. I was also shown the collection of instruments being auctioned and James Buchanan and his colleagues imparted so much knowledge and were really helpful and very friendly. Highly recommended!”
Books from Amati
Amati in collaboration with John Dilworth, one of the world’s foremost authorities in the field of antique stringed instruments, have published a few books together.
The Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers, published in 2012, is the new ‘Henley’ and so much more.
The Monograph Collection, published in 2014 is a series of individual books showcasing three exceptional instruments by Antonio Stradivari.
- ‘La Pucelle’ violin 1709
- ‘Archinto’ cello 1689
- ‘Tyrrell’ violin 1717
The Monograph Collection
The Monograph Collection books are sold as a set of three or individual volumes.
The Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers
The Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers is the essential book for dealers, makers, and collectors. Covering over 10,000 makers, this book is up to date and easy to use.
Buying a violin for investment
A rewarding idea
Your bow might be worth a fortune
Don’t forget your bow: a bow can be worth as much or more than the instrument it comes with.
AMATI’S AFTERSALE POLICY
We’ve recently updated our after-sale process for the Specialist auctions, here is an overview of what you need to know.