When Dizzy Gillespie's original bent-bell trumpet went on the auction block, the bidding followed the path pointed by the horn.
The trumpet sold for $63,000 Tuesday at Christie's in New York. Its bell was bent 45 degrees when a dancer tripped while performing at a birthday party for Gillespie's wife in the early 1950s. It also has two small dents made by a snake charmer's king cobra, which lunged at Gillespie during a trip to India.The late Gillespie used horns with bent bells ever since the dancing accident. "I can hear my mistakes quicker," he once said.
Part of the proceeds were being donated to Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey, where Gillespie was a patient before he died in 1993.
Two other horns kissed by jazz legends also were auctioned off. Coleman Hawkins's tenor saxophone brought $19,500, and a soprano sax of Dexter Gordon's sold for $10,925.
Jimi Hendrix's leather guitar strap went for $11,500, and a sign John Lennon drew directing reporters to his 1969 "Bed In for Peace" with Yoko Ono sold for $18,400.