Edinburgh firm to sell dozens of pianos in ‘very special’ auction

James Cameron of the Edinburgh Piano Company polishes pianos in the firm's showroom in Edinburgh ahead of an auction on Sunday. Picture: PA
James Cameron of the Edinburgh Piano Company polishes pianos in the firm's showroom in Edinburgh ahead of an auction on Sunday. Picture: PA
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One of the largest collections of pianos in Scotland is going under the hammer.

The Edinburgh Piano Company has supplied pianos to many musicians for their concerts over the years, including Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti and Van Morrison, but the company’s owner has decided to retire - prompting the sale of the entire stock.

James Cameron of the Edinburgh Piano Company polishes pianos in the firm's showroom in Edinburgh ahead of an auction on Sunday. Picture: PA

James Cameron of the Edinburgh Piano Company polishes pianos in the firm's showroom in Edinburgh ahead of an auction on Sunday. Picture: PA

About 90 pianos, ranging from £300 to an estimated £35,000, will now be available to buy in the auction being held this weekend.

The company was started up in the early 1980s by James Cameron, who came to the Scottish capital to study musical instrument technology. He began to buy and sell old pianos, often carrying them up and down the stairs from his basement flat.

The business moved premises, eventually occupying a former car showroom and warehouse in the city’s Joppa Road area, where the sale is taking place on February 14.

Mr Cameron, 73, said: “As I cleared my desk I came across a drawer full of backstage passes covering many years of hiring our pianos for concerts, events, festivals and theatres.

James Cameron of the Edinburgh Piano Company polishes pianos in the firm's showroom in Edinburgh ahead of an auction on Sunday. Picture: PA

James Cameron of the Edinburgh Piano Company polishes pianos in the firm's showroom in Edinburgh ahead of an auction on Sunday. Picture: PA

“I remember Frank Sinatra at Ibrox Stadium back in 1990 when we provided a Bosendorfer Imperial grand, and then there was Pavarotti at the SECC with our Bosendorfer 275, and tours with Evelyn Glennie round the Highlands and Islands of Scotland with a little Steinway.

“I’m looking forward to retiring, I enjoyed the piano business very much for many years but there comes a time when you want to move on and do something else.

“There’s more or less 90 pianos left. We just kept the stock up and kept the business going and then finally I decided to retire. There was nobody else prepared to take on the business - it’s a big commitment.”

Sean McIlroy, director of specialist auctioneers Piano Auctions Limited, said: “For us, this is really different - it’s going to be a very special sale.

James Cameron of the Edinburgh Piano Company poses for a photo in the firm's showroom in Edinburgh. Picture: PA

James Cameron of the Edinburgh Piano Company poses for a photo in the firm's showroom in Edinburgh. Picture: PA

“Normally, you wouldn’t have a piano dealer retiring and selling his entire stock by auction. What we have got here is beginner pianos from £300 right the way up to professional instruments at £30,000 to £40,000. There are many, many great makes here as well as everyday pianos for beginners, so there is something here for everyone.

“We’ve had interest from as far afield as China, America, Israel and across Europe, as well as piano dealers in the UK and a lot of private buyers looking for that perfect instrument for themselves.”

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