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Someone is selling off a ‘lifetime collection’ of musical instruments with Surrey auctioneer

The 448-item collection ‘came from one gentleman out of his house on one of the Gulf Islands’
Just some of the 448 instruments and other music-related items to be auctioned by Able Auctions on Nov. 19. (Photo:

It took a day to wrap up and truck out hundreds of musical instruments now stored in a Surrey warehouse ahead of an online auction.

At the seller’s house, an Able Auctions crew sorted and transported some unique and rare instruments including guitars, amps, microphones, horns, harps, banjos, drums, dulcimers, mixers, cases, xylophones — you name it, it’ll be auctioned on Nov. 19.

The “lifetime collection” is detailed in text and photos on, and it takes some time to scroll through the 448 items.

“It came from one gentleman out of his house on one of the Gulf Islands,” reported Jeremy Dodd, president of Able Auctions.

“He was buying from around the world and shipping it to this little island,” he added. “It’s quite a collection, and I imagine his shipping costs over the past 40 years were pretty high. That’s my guess, probably 40 years (of collecting the instruments).”


The auction company won’t name the seller, due to privacy concerns. “I imagine he wouldn’t be too hard to track down because he’s promoting it (the auction) quite a bit on his social media channels,” Dodd said.

A “preview” of all those instruments is planned Friday, Nov. 18, a day before the online auction.

The pandemic forced Able to hold all auctions online, where they’ll be forever more.

“All our auctions these days are 100 per cent online, but we have a preview day so people can view the items. It’s a COVID thing that won’t go back,” Dodd explained. “When those first public gathering restrictions were announced in March (of 2020), we basically switched the next day to 100 per cent online.”

Online is a much more efficient way of auctioning, he added.

“It’s become an online business with 100 per cent of our sales online, and it’s just so much easier to control the payment of product, the pickup of product,” Dodd said. “We now put a lot more effort into photographing and videoing products so people don’t have to attend the preview – some still do. Before the pandemic we were around 40 per cent online sales, and now we’re 100 per cent.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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