Mamma Mia! Abba's piano up for auction

 Cast members of the Abba-inspired musical Bjorn Again perform at the Georg Bolin grand piano used in Abba hits.
Cast members of the Abba-inspired musical Bjorn Again perform at the Georg Bolin grand piano used in Abba hits.REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - The piano that featured on many of Abba's greatest hits is going under the hammer next month in London, auctioneers Sotheby's said Thursday.

The piano is estimated to fetch between £600,000 and £800,000 (S$1.3 million and S$2.7 million) when it goes on sale on Sept 29.

Swedish pop foursome Abba dominated the 1970s disco scene with their catchy, finely-crafted songs.

"The opening piano glissando from Dancing Queen is one of the most distinctive sounds of the 1970s and we are delighted to offer the actual instrument used by the legendary Abba in their major recordings," said Sotheby's expert Philip W. Errington.

"The piano itself is an instrument of real importance and with the added ABBA provenance we expect it will have worldwide appeal."

It was built by the inventive Swedish musical instrument designer Georg Bolin for the US jazz pianist Bill Evans.

The New York Times described it in 1964 as a "space-age piano".

It was bought by Stockholm's Metronome Studios in 1967 and appeared on nearly all of Abba's recordings between 1973 and 1977.

It featured on hits including Dancing Queen, Waterloo, SOS, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Mamma Mia, and Ring Ring.

"The Bolin Grand, one of a kind and a great source of inspiration while working in the recording studio during the Abba sessions!", said the group's pianist Benny Andersson.

The foursome - Andersson, Bjoern Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faeltskog - went their separate ways in 1983 and have never performed together since.

The piano is being sold by Atlantis Grammofon, formerly the Metronome Studios.

Famous pianos have earned huge sums at previous auctions.

In 2000, John Lennon's Steinway upright piano, on which he composed Imagine, was bought for £1.67 million by the singer George Michael.

The upright piano which featured in Rick's Cafe Americain in the 1942 film Casablanca was sold in 2014 for US$3.4 million (S$4.7 million).