Top 10 Most Expensive Guitars Sold at Auction
There aren’t many collectibles that are as cool as guitars. They’re flawless and functional works of art that inspire musicians and music lovers all over the world. I’m sure you’re already aware of the guitar’s iconic status as a cultural icon. But some guitars are more than just good memories of The Beatles or Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. Can you figure out how much someone is willing to pay for a well-known guitar?
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The Top 10 Most Expensive Guitars Sold At Auction.
10. Brownie Stratocaster, Eric Clapton – $450,000
It’s a guitar called “Layla.” More needs to be said. This 1956 Strat was with Clapton during Cream (for a short time) and Derek & the Dominoes, and it now resides at Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project in Seattle, WA.
9. Goldleaf Stratocaster, Eric Clapton – $455,000
Another Clapton guitar on the list. This gold leaf Stratocaster was handcrafted by Fender’s master builder Mark Kendrick for Clapton. Clapton reportedly desired a guitar that he could “hang in a museum.” Clapton used it on his Legends tour in 1997 and again in 2001 before selling it to Christie’s Auction House.
8. Gibson SG, George Harrison and John Lennon – $570,000
Between 1966 and 1969, George Harrison and John Lennon used this guitar. Which appeared on Revolver and the White album.
7. Fender Strat, Stevie Ray Vaughan – $623,500
Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Stratocatser “Lenny” was named after his wife. Who had purchased him this circa 1965 Strat for his birthday in 1980. Stevie’s brother Jimmy donated the guitar after Stevie died in a helicopter crash in 1990. It was auctioned off and sold to Guitar Centre.
6. 1939 CF Martin, Eric Clapton – $791,500
Clapton made a comeback in 1992 with the release of the hit ballad “Tears in Heaven.” Clapton used this guitar to perform an all-acoustic set on MTV Unplugged, which he auctioned off to benefit the Crossroads Rehabilitation Centre.
5. 1964 Gibson ES-335, Eric Clapton – $847,500
Clapton played on this guitar with the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. It was auctioned at Christie’s in 2004 and was the third highest price paid for a guitar at the time.
Guitars Sold at Auction
4. Blackie Strat, Eric Clapton – $959,000
Clapton’s most recognizable guitar is most likely Blackie. According to legend, Clapton purchased six Stratocasters in a Texas guitar shop. He then gave three away (to Harrison, Townshend, and Winwood) and disassembled the remaining three to build Blackie, a guitar he used for the next 15 years. Clapton auctioned off this guitar, like many of his others, to benefit the Crossroads Rehab Centre.
3. Washburn, Bob Marley – valued at 1.2 million
Bob Marley didn’t have a lot of guitars. Although the exact number is unknown. This Washburn became his infamous instrument. Marley rarely played the Washburn, which was allegedly one of the first electric Washburn guitars ever made. And instead gave it to his guitar tech, Gary Carlsen. The Jamaican government has designated the guitar as a national treasure.
2. 1968 Fender Strat, Jimi Hendrix – $2,000,000
This is the guitar that Jimi Hendrix famously played at Woodstock. It was placed at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Jimi Hendrix’s hometown, after Paul Allen paid $2 million for it.
1. Reach Out to Asia Stratocatser – $2,700,000
To help raise funds for tsunami relief efforts in 2004, a signed Fender Stratocaster was auctioned off, and it wasn’t signed by just anyone. Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Brian May, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, Tony Iommi, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, members of Def Leppard, Bryan Adams, Liam Gallagher, and Paul McCartney have all signed this guitar. The guitars sold raised nearly $3 million for Reach Out to Asia, a charity founded to assist tsunami victims.
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