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Musical Instruments & Bows

“The practice of the violin at a high level naturally led me to take an interest in fine musical instruments and the fascinating world of instrument making. Fueled by the desire for transmission, I always seek to know the origin and history of the instruments as well as the lives of the people who cherished them. An instrument is a work of art but also a means of expression, an extension of the musician’s body. This requires listening and tailored advice when acquiring or parting with one.”

— Hector Chemelle

A key department in the art and music market

A historical specialty of Aguttes, the Instruments & Bows department showcases the work of the finest luthiers and bow makers, treasures whose resonance attests to unique craftsmanship. Fine instruments are always in high demand and achieve record prices in auctions. In June 2022, for example, a Guarnerius ‘del Gesù’ violin was sold for 3.3 million euros. As an essential player in the art and music market, Paris proves to be an exceptional showcase for carefully selected items.

Bidders from around the world bear witness to an active market, both national and international, as well as the enthusiasm for the beautiful pieces of our heritage. Hector Chemelle, a violinist from the Conservatoire de Paris, is well aware of the expectations of buyers. As such, he offers instrument trials by appointment and personalized advice. This desire to open up a market of quartet instruments historically reserved for intermediate professionals to musicians has brought together a wide community of virtuoso buyers, luthiers, collectors, and enthusiasts, fostering a rise in auction prices.


Magnificent violins and cellos at auction

From violins to cellos, and even violas, dating from the 18th to the 20th century, signed or anonymous, these wonders of lutherie have always fascinated. And where there are strings, there are often bows. It is essential not to forget them, as sometimes these beautiful pieces of precious wood can be worth more than the instruments they accompany.

Good to know

Our Instruments & bows department organizes 2 auctions per year in Paris. These auctions follow the schedule of major events dedicated to music and musicians.

Our specialist is at your disposal to estimate your string instruments and bows and provide you with professional expertise and advice on selling or investing. Discover our auction calendar and our offices.

The house has a unique communication strength and provides sellers with modern and targeted tools for effective international dissemination. We pay particular attention to the production of the auction catalog, whether in paper or fully digital format, ensuring high-quality content. We engage with buyers in all specialties and identified potential buyers during our campaigns, using various channels such as online and offline advertisements, social media, emailings, media outlets, influencers, and auction platforms with suitable and high-quality materials, including images, text, and videos.



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    ABOUT Instruments & bows


    Why Aguttes?


    More than 14 specialized departments

    Personalized accompaniment

    Large and agile organization for the management of "top lots" and particular collections

    International records

    More than 60% of buyers are foreign

    Culture of excellence

    More than 150 lots sold at more than 100 000€ in 2022

    Frequency of sales

    4 annual auctions by specialty

    The press speaks about it