The original Alma Tadema Art Case Steinway, which was designed with fine art decorations by world famous artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema in 1887, has been described by Christie's in London as "the most artistic piano ever produced." It was sold in 1997 for $1.2 million, setting a record for a piano sold at auction. In 2002 Steinway & Sons completed an exacting re-creation of the original Alma-Tadema, designed more than a century earlier. The Alma Tadema re-creation took more than 20 months to complete and was one of the most elaborate and expensive projects ever undertaken by Steinway. This extraordinary instrument features an intricately hand-carved case, lid and legs. It is adorned with 2,200 individually inlaid pieces of mother of pearl, and above the keyboard is an elaborate rendering of Sir Edward J. Poynter's classic oil painting, The Wandering Minstrels, topped by an arched brass lyre. In an appropriate tribute to such a work of art, the Alma Tadema re-creation bears serial number 554,538, exactly 500,000 pianos later than the original, number 54,538.