ABBA: a Lindner upright piano used extensively by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to compose many of ABBA's major hits between 1972-1979, including Fernando, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, during the groups sessions in the "ABBA Writing Cottage", late 1960s,
Lot 156W
ABBA: a Lindner upright piano used extensively by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to compose many of ABBA's major hits between 1972-1979, including Fernando, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, during the groups sessions in the "ABBA Writing Cottage",
late 1960s,
Sold for £35,000 (US$ 45,999) inc. premium

Lot Details
ABBA: a Lindner upright piano used extensively by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to compose many of ABBA's major hits between 1972-1979, including Fernando, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, during the groups sessions in the "ABBA Writing Cottage", late 1960s, ABBA: a Lindner upright piano used extensively by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to compose many of ABBA's major hits between 1972-1979, including Fernando, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, during the groups sessions in the "ABBA Writing Cottage", late 1960s, ABBA: a Lindner upright piano used extensively by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to compose many of ABBA's major hits between 1972-1979, including Fernando, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, during the groups sessions in the "ABBA Writing Cottage", late 1960s, ABBA: a Lindner upright piano used extensively by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to compose many of ABBA's major hits between 1972-1979, including Fernando, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, during the groups sessions in the "ABBA Writing Cottage", late 1960s, ABBA: a Lindner upright piano used extensively by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to compose many of ABBA's major hits between 1972-1979, including Fernando, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, during the groups sessions in the "ABBA Writing Cottage", late 1960s, ABBA: a Lindner upright piano used extensively by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to compose many of ABBA's major hits between 1972-1979, including Fernando, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, during the groups sessions in the "ABBA Writing Cottage", late 1960s,
ABBA: a Lindner upright piano used extensively by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus to compose many of ABBA's major hits between 1972-1979, including Fernando, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen, during the groups sessions in the "ABBA Writing Cottage",
late 1960s,
upright Lindner piano in oak veneer, with 73 keys, plastic piano action, serial number 49726, Lindner, Shannon Ireland in gold paint to clear perspex plaque screwed below fixed music rack, with sustain pedal and a soft pedal; accompanied by four letters of provenance, two from Benny Andersson, one from the ABBA Museum, Stockholm and one from the vendors; together with a copy of The Music. The Memories. The Magic., ABBA The Museum (Pop Story AB, 2013), approximately 99 x 53 x 117cm (39 x 21 x 46in)

Footnotes

  • This important piano was used to compose almost all of ABBA's greatest hits between 1972-1979. These pop classics included Fernando, Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, Money Money Money, Take a Chance on Me, The Name of the Game, Thank You for the Music, Voulez-vous, I Have a Dream, Does Your Mother Know and Chiquitita. The hits scored by ABBA on this piano in these defining years of pop music established ABBA as one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

    It has been documented that the piano was purchased by ABBA and brought up to a small cottage on the island of Viggsö in the Swedish archipelago. The cottage owned by Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus was established as the base for ABBA's creative writing sessions from 1972. It has a small holding which was just large enough for the piano in this lot and two chairs to fit in. Benny Andersson recalled carrying the piano up to the house in the wintertime and carrying it back down to the small writing hut when spring arrived so that the group could play and compose all summer. It remained in the cottage until 1979 having been used by Andersson and Ulvaeus for the composition of most of the major ABBA hits in this period. Benny Andersson has modestly remarked of this piano- "The small piano was not one of the best pianos I have played on but it sure did the work well to compose some good songs on." This model of piano was built small and light (75kg) so that it could be as portable as possible.

    ABBA's biggest selling singles, Fernando and Dancing Queen were both composed on this modest piano. In 1976 Fernando sold over 6 million copies, and since then can be grouped with less than forty songs having sold 10 million or more hard copies. It reached number one in over ten countries, including the UK, Mexico and Australia. Dancing Queen released in 1976 was one of the most successful songs from that era and was included in Rolling Stones list of greatest songs of all time 2011. Both tracks are still firm favourites for ABBA fans and are now considered to be pop classics.

    In 1979 the piano was moved out of the make shift studio and traded in to a music shop in Sundyberg, Sweden in exchange for another piano. It was bought from this dealership by the previous owners after verifying with Benny Andersson that it was indeed the piano used by ABBA to compose their greatest hits. It was under these new owners that the piano was painted white, and remained so until its recent restoration. The piano was then purchased by the current vendors, who recently loaned it to ABBA World, a touring exhibition which travelled throughout Eastern Europe between 2009 and 2011, delighting fans once more. From there it was transferred with Andersson's blessing to the ABBA Museum in Stockholm where it has been exhibited from the museum's opening in 2013 until removal for this sale. The instrument is accompanied by signed letters confirming the provenance and the part this small, unassuming piano holds in the creation of ABBA's much loved pop tracks.

    The piano has been restored by the current owners to its original natural wood finish and has been returned to working condition. Preserving it for future generations in the original state to when it was used by ABBA throughout their formative years and for the majority of their reign as one of Pop music's most commercially successful groups. The piano can be seen being used by Andersson and Ulvaeus in the credits of ABBA The Movie (Polar Music/Reg Grundy Productions, 1977) and they are interviewed at the piano in the TV documentary ABBA-dabba-dooo!! (1976), stills of which are illustrated.

    Literature: The Real Story of ABBA: Bright Lights Dark Shadows, Carl Magnus Palm (Omnibus Press, 2014).

    Exhibited: ABBA World touring exhibition, 2009-2011.
    ABBA Museum, 2013-2015.

Saleroom notices

  • The piano is additionally stamped 57012 to the metal bar at the back of the piano and 18945 is handwritten in black ink to the side of the piano mechanism, serial number is as catalogued.
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