Duke Ellington's grand piano the star of memorabilia sale

Duke Ellington's baby grand piano will headline an auction of his memorabilia.

The lot is offered with a valuation in excess of $50,000 ahead of the May 18 auction in Harlem, New York.

Ellington bought the piano new during the 1920s and used it often up until the 1950s.

It's likely that he would have composed some of his most enduring songs on it, including Sentimental Mood and It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing.

Guernsey's comments: "Few individuals have had a greater influence on the twentieth century popular culture than Duke Ellington. His remarkable musical legacy combined with an unfailing sense of style have accorded him iconic status...

"Without question, one of the most significant lots in this, or any other music-related auction, will be Duke Ellington's personal white baby grand piano...

"Although it is known that Duke owned two additional pianos, the one in this event (and the only one likely ever to be sold) is the one he used when composing much of his music."

The sale will include a vast array of artefacts from across Ellington's career, including stage worn outfits, manuscripts and paintings.

We have this piece of sheet music by John Coltrane, another jazz superstar.

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