NEW YORK (AP) – Lionel Hampton’s vibraphone and Dizzy Gillespie’s trumpet were among a treasure trove of 450 pieces of jazz memorabilia auctioned Sunday.

Hampton’s engraved 1930s King George instrument sold for $50,000, said Kim Anello, a spokeswoman for the Guernsey’s auction house, which conducted the sale. Gillespie’s custom-made Martin trumpet fetched $26,000.

A handwritten letter from John Coltrane to his mother in 1964 sold for $16,000; another sold for $14,000.

The identities of the winning bidders weren’t released.

Also up for auction were items like Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong’s trumpet, a saxophone engraved with Charlie “Bird” Parker’s name, an unreleased tape of a 1951 Parker performance and a rhinestone gown from the late 1960s in which Peggy Lee sang smoldering songs like “Fever.”

Thelonious Monk’s smoking jacket had the name of his song evoking his beloved wife embroidered inside the sleeve, with a whimsical detail – “Crepuscule with Nellie” was misspelled.

The auction was held at the new home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, in the Time Warner complex in Manhattan. Bidders participated by telephone, on eBay or in person.

Guernsey’s refrained from setting price estimates “because prices are set by precedents – and there’s no precedent for these items,” president Arlan Ettinger said before the sale.

Items were donated by the musicians’ families. Proceeds from the sale were to go to jazz foundations, archives and young jazz artists.


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