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Vintage Steinway piano raises a grand old sum for the Hospice

A collection of rare musical instruments donated to the Hospice has raised thousands of pounds after going under the hammer on Sunday.

Discovered last month during a legacy house clearance, the instruments included a mint condition 1912 Steinway B grand piano and two vintage violins.

The pieces, which were sold at Alnwick Auctions, were snapped up by individual bidders fetching a grand total of £10,000 for the Hospice.

The auction attracted collectors from across the UK, including the piano’s proud procurer – an anonymous Steinway agent from Leeds who placed a successful bid of £7,200.

And it wasn’t just collectors that turned out to see bidders compete for the prized piece.

Local professional pianist, Mark Deeks, offered to help show off the Steinway’s world-class sound by bringing his musical expertise to the auction and tinkling the ivories.

Mark, who owns Music Newcastle, has been playing piano since he was five. The 38-year-old Blyth resident said: “I had seen that the piano was being auctioned for St Oswald’s in the local news and both my wife and I had grandparents that were cared for by the charity, so I felt that it was meant to be.

“I went along to the auction and played a few well-known songs along with some of my original material before the bidding started. One lady commented that it was the best auction she’d ever been to.

“It was a great experience. I wish I could have taken the piano home myself, it’s stunning and plays beautifully, plus the money raised is going to a cause that is close to the hearts of my family.”

The funds raised through the auction will go directly towards funding St Oswald’s services, which need £7m a year to operate.

Andrew Moir, Head of Retail at St Oswald’s, said: “The £10,000 raised through the sale of the piano and violins is incredible for St Oswald’s and we are extremely grateful to everyone involved, especially the generous supporter who gifted us all of her household belongings, or ‘personal chattles’ as she called them.

“It’s amazing to come across rare finds such as these instruments through our house clearance service but it’s not just extravagant items that we’re interested in - we welcome any donations, big or small to help support funding Hospice services.”

The St Oswald’s house clearance service is available to anyone across Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside and Gateshead. To arrange a house clearance, call 0191 2468123 or email retailhelpdesk@stoswaldsuk.org