Clapton auction raises $2.15 million at Bonhams
Everything that went under the hammer at the recent sale of guitars and amps at Bonhams in aid of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Centre was sold, bringing in three times the amount expected. For the first time, the legendary musician offered amps and cabinets from his own collection, including a 1966 Fender Super Reverb. The sale also included instruments from Fender, Music Man, Gibson and Martin as well as memorabilia and collectibles, and attracted fans from all over the world, hoping to take home a piece of Clapton history.
Clapton set up the Crossroads Centre drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility on the Caribbean paradise of Antigua in 1998. To draw attention to, and raise funds for, the substance abuse center, Slow Hand occasionally auctions off some of his history and regularly brings together fellow icons such as BB King, Buddy Guy, ZZ Top, John McLaughlin and Steve Vai for the Crossroads Guitar Festival.
His third saleroom outing took place earlier this month at Bonhams in New York, and took some four and a half hours to get through all of the items on offer. The most expensive item turned out to be a 1948 Gibson L-5P, which carried an estimate of between US$20,000 and US$30,000 but sold for an incredible US$82,960. At the other end of the scale was a limited edition Crossroads tote bag that went for US$610.
Between cheapest and most costly were such things as a 1966 Fender Super Reverb which sold for US$30,500, a Gibson LP-2 circa 1970 that was snapped up for US$1,952 and a stage suit designed by Versace that went for US$7,320. The oldest items to go under the hammer were a 1920s G Houghton & Sons Melody Major Mandolin-banjo (US$3,904) and a 1934 National Trojan (US$14,640).
The full list of auctioned items, which reads like a Who's Who of musical equipment, is available on the Bonhams website.