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A magnificent Steinway piano encrusted with half a million Swarovski crystals has been unveiled today – bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘grand piano’.

The custom-made Crystal Piano – which took six painstaking months to build, with every crystal carefully applied by hand – was created by British bespoke piano company Goldfinch for £420,000.

Fantastical art pianos

Renowned for its unique, luxurious and fantastical art pianos – which have included a piano colour-matched to a RAF fighter plane and a baby grand piano that appears to melt down three flights of stairs – Goldfinch’s latest grand statement, made in collaboration with world-famous British contemporary artist Lauren Baker, was commissioned by an influential Sheikh in Qatar and shipped from Cambridge, England, to his home in Doha.

Goldfinch director Tomas Norman, whose family has been handcrafting fine pianos for more than 40 years, said:

“It’s been a delight to bring another customer’s dream to reality. We love nothing more than blurring the lines between timeless tradition and contemporary British art, but it’s not all about good looks – our craftsmanship is combined with cutting edge technology for that seamless finish and ultimate musicality.”

The ultimate bespoke piano

Goldfinch is the only piano company in the world offering an almost limitless selection of shapes, sizes, colours, materials and textures for its bespoke instruments, hand built by a small artisan team in Cambridge.

Each piano can be installed with self-play ‘invisible controls’, allowing the piano to ‘play itself’.

Goldfinch’s work has attracted connoisseurs in major cities across the world including Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Sydney, Istanbul, New York, Paris and Dubai.

About Goldfinch Pianos

Editor’s notes

  • To create your own bespoke musical artwork, contact Tomas Norman on +44 1223 881691 or email [email protected]
  • Goldfinch is part of 1066 Pianos, a family-run business in Cambridge, England, which has been building some of the world’s finest pianos for more than 40 years.
  • Goldfinch pianos are priced from £100,000 to £1,000,000 and beyond. Other creations include The Leaking Piano, a 40inch work of art in Copenhagen, which appears to ‘drip’ over three floors; The Louis XV, a reborn Steinway piano from the late 1800s, and The Crystal piano a reborn Steinway studded with half a million Swarovski crystals.
  • Lauren Baker is a British, contemporary, multidisciplinary artist renowned for her distinctive skull art installation in Tate Modern.
  • In 1975, when physicist and concert piano-tuner JR Norman became dismayed at the high cost and poor construction of supposedly master-built pianos, he applied his methodical mind and deep scientific rigour to the traditional art of piano making – and never looked back. Mr Norman and his family quickly became world-renowned piano makers, with Goldfinch offering customers the chance to design their dream piano. 

About Based Upon

Based Upon is a London studio working at the front line of British creative enterprise, delivering a pioneering approach to making commissioned art-work, unique objects and design pieces.

Based Upon’s creative process involves an evolving dialogue between artist and commissioning client, with each resulting work growing from an exchange of inspirations, ideas and memories to become a truly personal and inimitable legacy piece, priceless to those for whom it is made. Based Upon’s own edition works explore the sublime bond between man and nature through finely crafted art works and sculptural design pieces.

Based Upon is a family company established in 2004 by twin brothers Ian and Richard Abell, who founded it on an ethos of open exploration and a commitment to continuous innovation. On this basis, over a dynamic decade, the brothers have built a rich and visionary team of 45 artists, craftspeople and designers, who work together with an international network of creative specialists to bring to life ground-breaking art and design works for clients around the world.