London Cellist Sells 1730 Cello for $500,000

This post isn’t about anything legal, but it’s summer, and this is an interesting story. (Or at least I find it interesting – I should disclose that I’m on the board of Orchestra London.)

Christine Newland, principle cellist of Orchestra London, borrowed in 1976 to buy a cello for $12,000. According to an online inflation calculator, that’s about $48,000 in today’s money. She knew it was a special instrument at the time, but had no idea how special until recently. Turns out that it was made in 1730, and is a twin – made from the same tree – of another cello that currently resides at the Royal Academy of Music in London England. It was valued at $750,000.

She just sold it for $500,000 to the Canada Council Instrument Bank, which loans instruments to professional musicians. It has also been named in her honour – now known as the Newland Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello. 

For more detail, see this press release, or listen to this CBC interview.


  1. How fascinating! I am a lawyer who is also a cellist, and I played in the LSO many, many years ago (as in, during the mid-70s), and knew Christine then. (She and I also had the same first cello teacher, a remarkable man – Marcus Adeney.)

    I happened to find this post as a colleague who is also a lawyer/cellist is trying to get together eight other such freaks of nature (we’re up to six!) to play a piece by Villa Lobos for eight cellos and soprano.

    Anyone else out there who is a lawyer/cellist??? I would love to hear from you!