DOYLE Auction Old Master & 19th Century
Jun 03-03, 2020
Published: November 5, 2019
NEW YORK CITY — Christie’s said a trumpet designed and played by Miles Davis, one of the most significant jazz musicians of all time, sold for $275,000, a record for a trumpet at auction, in the firm’s Exceptional Sale on October 29, exceeding its $70/100,000 estimate. The “Martin Committee” Trumpet in B Flat, model T3460, by the Martin Co., was commissioned circa 1980 and features a deep blue lacquer and gilt crescent moon and stars, designed according to Davis’s specifications. Called the “Moon and Stars” trumpet, it exemplified not only superb craftsmanship but also marked a crucial moment in Davis’s career, as he made his long-awaited return to music.
After a round of competitive bids, both in the room and on the phone, Don Hicks, the owner of the Blue Llama Jazz Club in Ann Arbor, Mich., was the successful bidder, according to Reuters. “It will be on display,” Hicks told Reuters just after the sale. “And for jazz musicians who come through the place, they’ll get a chance to take a look at it, blow a few notes.
“It was meant to be played. Musical instruments are meant to be played and meant to make beautiful sounds. Miles did it and we’re trying to carry that forward,” he added.
In a performing and recording career of almost 50 years, Miles Davis produced many critically acclaimed albums, and Kind of Blue, recorded in just two sessions in 1959, remains the best-selling jazz album of all time. Davis was called by some “the Picasso of Jazz” for cultivating a distinctive sound while also remaining continuously hungry for new musical expression, picking up new audiences along the way. Davis died in 1991.
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