Rare Ruhlmann Piano Expected to Fetch $500,000 At NYC Auction

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An art deco grand piano designed by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann is expected to sell for $400,000 to $600,000 at an upcoming auction of 20th Century design works in NYC. According to Sotheby’s, the piano is one of only six Ruhlmann pianos whose whereabouts are known and one of three that are similarly shaped.

“In a sense it’s the opposite of what a classic, say Steinway, shape would be. It was Ruhlmann’s great modernist style and innovation in the (19)20s that would come up with something like that,” James Zemaitis, the auction house’s senior vice president of 20th century design, told the Associated Press. “Where the piano should go in it goes out on the side. Convex versus concave.

The instrument sailed aboard the French ocean liner Normandie in the 1930s before it was purchased by the Butler family at a New York auction in the early 1940s.