The most expensive trumpet ever


What is the most expensive trumpet in the world?

Many ‘most expensive’ items are so because they belonged to someone famous who used them and the case of the most expensive trumpet is no different. The most expensive trumpet was not only owned and played by bebop icon Dizzy Gillespie, but it also has a distinct shape, design, and sound. So you can tell you’re looking at the most expensive trumpet just by looking at it.

Dizzy was known for many features. He was a man with chubby cheeks, a trademark beret, and horn-rimmed glasses. But it was his trumpet that most made his look. Dizzy’s trumpet did not stand straight out from the lips as other trumpets do. Instead, its bell was bent at a 45 degree angle. Dizzy claimed that his trumpet first came to be this way because of an accident, although he never went into full detail about just what that accident was.

He did say that it happened at a job and that the date was in January of 1953. However, he would never go into further detail. And even after the accident, Dizzy would never use another trumpet that didn’t have the bend in the middle. This was because Dizzy really liked the way the bend in the instrument made it sound. And it was definitely a sound unique to other trumpets! This bent trumpet became so widely known as being one of Dizzy’s trumpets that the Smithsonian has Dizzy’s B-flat trumpet on display.

But the whole case of the bent trumpet may not be as serendipitous as Dizzy would like us to believe. Alyn Shipton, the man responsible for writing Dizzy’s biography, later said that it may not have been an accident at all that Dizzy’s trumpet was this different shape. He claimed that Dizzy saw a performer in 1937 in Manchester, England, who played with such a trumpet. This performer played with the trumpet in such a way because he had very poor vision and this design of the trumpet allowed him to read his sheet music much easier.

However the bent trumpet came to be, Dizzy continued to use the Martin Committee bent trumpet throughout the rest of his career. It was in 1995 that Dizzy’s trumpet was sold at a Christie’s auction for $55,000. Happy accident indeed!

World's Most Expensive Trumpet

The world's most expensive trumpet ever

The most expensive trumpet ever