One of the most important record collections ever put together that catalogues the history of music from 400AD until 1900 is to go under the hammer at auction.
Compiled by Italian musicologist Andrea Vitali over his lifetime, it comprises 6,242 CDs, 728 LPs, hundreds of singles plus DVDs, VHS videos and audio cassettes.
It is thought to be the most complete collection of music from between 800 AD until 1700.
The authenticity of the recordings including the specific instruments used to re-create the sounds of past centuries was of crucial importance in putting the collection together.
The music is being sold as one lot at an online auction held by CooperOwen auctions.
The breadth and detail of the collection means it is possible to hear almost 2,000 years of western civilisation through the medium of music.
Louise Cooper, owner-managing director of CooperOwen Music Media Auctions of London, said: “This is simply a staggering collection compiled by an expert who attempted to get to the authentic sound of music since 400AD.
“The eras are broken down into ‘antiquity’ – up to the end of 700AD – the ‘middle ages’ – from 800 until 1300 – ‘renaissance’ from 1400 to 1500 – ‘baroque’ from 1600 to 1750, and ‘classicism’ from 1750 to 1830.
“It clearly would be of much interest to academics studying music who might wish to digitalise it.
“Andrea, who owns the collection, is putting it up for sale because he is concentrating on new projects.
“We anticipate interest from around the world.”
The collection is being sold with an estimate of £300,000.
Another lot of interest is Sir Elton John’s piano on which he wrote some of his most popular songs including Yellow Brick Road and Blue Eyes.
The 19th century instrument has a start price of £75,000.
It has a guide price of £100,000.
Collectors and fans from around the world are likely to fight over these highly sought-after pieces of pop memorabilia.
All items are available for bidders during a five week period – but offers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
CooperOwen is shortly to introduce an auction app.