Instruments owned by Kiwi rock royalty are going under the hammer in New Zealand Music Month.
Synthesisers used by Eddie Rayner of Split Enz and Crowded House, veteran bluesman Midge Marsden's guitars and the original drum kit belonging to sixties R&B act the La De Das are among significant items being sold by Auckland auction house Cordy's in May.
The sale is a passion project for Cordy's James Hogan, who gained a musical education flicking through the dollar bins at a second-hand record store and buying albums based on their cover art.
He got the idea after finding a small collection of music posters and being offered a large collection of first-pressing vinyl albums.
Things snowballed when he found out Marsden was moving house and needed to free up some space.
"We're trying to keep this quite a concise, interesting collection and make it something we can build on every year because there are so many events happening around Music Month now," said Hogan.
"There's a lot of interest and hopefully the market will respond really well."
As well as synths, Rayner has contributed many other Split Enz pieces, from signed concert passes to a tea towel, and part of an old Crowded House stage costume.
One of his keyboards – a Roland SH2000 - comes in the original Split Enz flight case.
"The important thing is its pedigree in terms of New Zealand music," said Hogan. "Through the 70s he would have used this on stage, in the studio."
One of Marsden's guitars is a Harmony used in his early years.
"There's a bit of sadness that's he's parting with it but he can't keep everything," said Hogan.
Authenticity is sometimes an issue when buying instruments said to be used by well-known musicians.
Not in this case. Rayner, Marsden and the rest will be happy to sign the item or provide a letter of authenticity.
It's expected about 150 lots, in some cases of multiple items, will be sold as part of a wider sale of catalogued antiques at Cordy's Epsom rooms on May 28.
International interest is expected in some of the highest-profile items, including Rayner's keyboards and the La De Das drumkit - after a string of hits in New Zealand, the band relocated to Australia.
"This started with the posters – an Enemy poster, a Hello Sailor Gluepot poster. They're simple things, but put together they're iconic pieces of New Zealand music history," said Hogan.
"I love them all. I'd like to take them all home. But that's not going to happen."