Ewbank's winter sale on November 26th-27th will be hitting all the right notes  as it features a magnificent Breadalbane Grand Piano which was  commissioned by 6th Earl of Breadalbane and Holland, to celebrate his accession to the title. Now, the piano does not play in tune - bringing it fully up to pitch – the process requires the piano strings to be tightened to a tension said to be around 10 tons –would damage the soundboard and render it unplayable. However, its aesthetic appeal can not be rivalled.

piano

On attaining the title from his father, Lord Breadalbane instructed the distinguished Collard and Collard, a company at the forefront of piano manufacturing in Europe in the 19th century, to build him an instrument unsurpassed in its quality. It was intended as a gift for his daughter, Lady Eva Campbell. It was constructed from burr walnut imported from Sicily and carved all over with designs supplied by the Earl including heraldic devices of the Campbell family; sets of his children's initials; a boar's head, which is part of the coat of arms of the Campbells of Breadalbane and a heart pierced by an arrow, which appears in the Campbell of Glenfalloch coat of arms. John Alexander Gavin Campbell, (1824-1871) was a Captain in the 1st Royals.

It took Collard & Collard two years to construct the piano due to the profuse amount of stunning wood carving and when it was delivered in 1868, it was accompanied by a bill of £2,000, the equivalent of £150,000 today (Office for National Statistics figures).

Adding to the impressive story behind the piano,it has been sent for sale by a direct descendant and bids of £2,000-3,000 are expected in the Ewbank's auction.

A highlight from the sale includes a gentleman's Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT Master wristwatch with stainless steel strap dates from about 1977 and is estimated at £2,500-3,500. Originally designed in collaboration with Pan Am Airways and issued by the airline to their crews on long-haul flights, the watch has a 24-hour display fourth hand complication, which displays the same time zone as the standard 12-hour hand. This hand enabled the crews to set the watch to Greenwich Mean Time required for all aviation planning, while the rotatable 24-hour scale bezel allowed a second time zone to be read.

trunk

Another piece for the well travelled is a  1930s vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk with brass hardware and wooden slats on brass squat wheels is open to debate with its original interior lift-out tray as the perfect place to store shoes it is estimated at £1,000-2,000.

Check out the sale here.

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