Abbey Road piano played by the Beatles up for sale

LONDON Tue Aug 3, 2010 12:35pm BST

1 of 2. British fashion designer Wayne Hemingway plays a piano at the Bonhams auction rooms in Bond Street in central London August 2, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - An upright piano set for auction this month may not look much but it hides an impressive musical history, played by the Beatles and Pink Floyd which is expected to scale its price up to 150,000 pounds.

The Challen upright piano from Abbey Road studios in north London is one of the highlights of auction house Bonhams' Pioneers of Popular Culture 1940-1990 sale being held on August 15.

The instrument is featured on several Beatles' songs including "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Paperback Writer," according to the auctioneer.

The piano was originally located in Studio Three at Abbey Road until it was retired in the 1980s. It is also believed to have been used by Pink Floyd on a number of recordings, including the "Wish You Were Here" and "Dark Side of the Moon" albums.

Abbey Road became synonymous with the Beatles who recorded almost all their albums and singles there between 1962 and 1970. Pink Floyd used the studios for their late 1960s and mid-1970s albums.

"This particular piano was bought in 1964 for the studio for the sum of 250 pounds," Bonhams' consultant Stephen Maycock told Reuters Television.

"It was used exclusively in Studio Three through the '70s and into the '80s so The Beatles used it in the '60s, Pink Floyd probably used it when they recorded it at Abbey Road and probably many other artists also."

Maycock said it was impossible to know exactly what tracks were recorded using this piano.

"But with this particular piano with the Beatles there's been such an amazing amount of research that we can actually identify particular tracks it was used on," he said.

Other highlights of the August 15 sale include a three-strand simulated pearl necklace formerly owned by Jackie Kennedy Onassis which she wore during the early 1960s, some items from the estate of British actor Stewart Granger, and an original Westminster Carnaby Street road sign.

(Reporting by Reuters Television, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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