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The 100 most valuable guitars ever sold at auction

The 100 most valuable guitars ...
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The most expensive guitar in history sold for US$2,700,000 at a "Reach out to Asia" charity auction on 16 November, 2005. It was signed by a "who's who" of the world's greatest guitar exponents and rock stars including Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davis, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Iommi, Angus & Malcolm Young, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard, and Bryan Adams.
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Formerly the most expensive guitar was the "Reach out to Asia" guitar, sold at a charity auction on 16 November, 2005. It was signed by a "who's who" of the world's greatest guitar exponents and rock stars including Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davies, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Iommi, Angus & Malcolm Young, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard, and Bryan Adams. It sold for US$2,700,000
Used by Jimi Hendrix on stage at Woodstock, including Jimi's famous rendition of "The Star Spangled banner." Rumored to have been sold privately for US$2,000,000, but last time it appeared at auction (April 25, 1990 - Sotheby's), it fetched $325,000. This guitar can now be seen on display at the EMP museum.
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Used by Jimi Hendrix on stage at Woodstock, including Jimi's famous rendition of "The Star Spangled banner." Rumored to have been sold privately for US$2,000,000, but last time it appeared at auction (April 25, 1990 - Sotheby's), it fetched $325,000. This guitar can now be seen on display at the EMP museum.
"Blackie" is a hybrid made up from the best bits of several vintage stratocasters. The legend goes that one day Clapton wandered into a a guitar shop in Texas, buying six vintage Fender Stratocasters for $100 each. He gave one each to George Harrison (The Beatles), Pete Townshend (The Who), and Stevie Winwood (Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith) and constructed Blackie from the other three. Used both on stage and in the studio from the early seventies to the mid eighties by Eric Clapton. Blackie shared the stage with Carlos Santana, Freddy King, The Band, Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters to name a few. Clapton recorded numerous albums on Blackie, including "461 Ocean Boulevard," "Slowhand," "No Reason To Cry" and "Just One Night." It sold for $959,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
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"Blackie" is a hybrid made up from the best bits of several vintage stratocasters. The legend goes that one day Clapton wandered into a a guitar shop in Texas, buying six vintage Fender Stratocasters for $100 each. He gave one each to George Harrison (The Beatles), Pete Townshend (The Who), and Stevie Winwood (Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith) and constructed Blackie from the other three. Used both on stage and in the studio from the early seventies to the mid eighties by Eric Clapton. Blackie shared the stage with Carlos Santana, Freddy King, The Band, Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters to name a few. Clapton recorded numerous albums on Blackie, including "461 Ocean Boulevard," "Slowhand," "No Reason To Cry" and "Just One Night." It sold for $959,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
This 1964 Gibson ES-335 TDC hollow-body electric guitar was originally purchased by Clapton in 1964, and was used throughout his career, playing a role in the music of the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and his post-addiction solo career, becoming one of Slowhand's principal stage-used guitars during the nineties. It sold for $847,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
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This 1964 Gibson ES-335 TDC hollow-body electric guitar was originally purchased by Clapton in 1964, and was used throughout his career, playing a role in the music of the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and his post-addiction solo career, becoming one of Slowhand's principal stage-used guitars during the nineties. It sold for $847,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
This 1939 Martin OOO-42 was the main instrument used in Eric Clapton's "MTV Unplugged" appearance, one of the pivotal moments in his career. Clapton is pictured playing this guitar on the CD cover of the multi-million seller "Unplugged" album, and it was used to play the acoustic version of "Layla," "Before You Accuse Me" and "Old Love," as well as early versions of "My Father's Eyes" and "Lonely Stranger." It sold for $791,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
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This 1939 Martin OOO-42 was the main instrument used in Eric Clapton's "MTV Unplugged" appearance, one of the pivotal moments in his career. Clapton is pictured playing this guitar on the CD cover of the multi-million seller "Unplugged" album, and it was used to play the acoustic version of "Layla," "Before You Accuse Me" and "Old Love," as well as early versions of "My Father's Eyes" and "Lonely Stranger." It sold for $791,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
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This 1962 Rickenbacker 425 was used during the Beatles' live performances of "Twist And Shout," "I’ll Get You" and "She Loves You" on the British pop TV show, Ready Steady Go!, the recording on October 17, 1963 of the band's fifth single, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and reverse side of the single, "This Boy." Also used during the October 1963 tour of Sweden and subsequently has been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland), John Lennon Museum (Japan), Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix) and the Grammy Museum's Beatles Exhibition (New York). It sold for $657,000 at a Julien's auction on 17 May 17, 2014
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This 1962 Rickenbacker 425 was used during the Beatles' live performances of "Twist And Shout," "I’ll Get You" and "She Loves You" on the British pop TV show, Ready Steady Go!, the recording on October 17, 1963 of the band's fifth single, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and reverse side of the single, "This Boy." Also used during the October 1963 tour of Sweden and subsequently has been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland), John Lennon Museum (Japan), Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix) and the Grammy Museum's Beatles Exhibition (New York). It sold for $657,000 at a Julien's auction on 17 May 17, 2014
This Fender Stratocaster was given to blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan by his wife, Lenny, in 1980 as a 26th birthday present. It sold for $623,500 at a Christies auctioned on 24 June, 2004
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This Fender Stratocaster was given to blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan by his wife, Lenny, in 1980 as a 26th birthday present. It sold for $623,500 at a Christies auctioned on 24 June, 2004
When Bob Dylan took to the stage at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25, 1965, the three-song set the 24-year-old poet-singer-prodigy performed made news around the world. It was the first time Dylan had performed with an electric backing band, and it was, according to Rolling Stone magazine, "one of the most notable events in music history." This is the 1964 Fender Stratocaster Dylan used during that performance. It sold for $965,000 at a Christies auction on 6 December, 2013
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When Bob Dylan took to the stage at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25, 1965, the three-song set the 24-year-old poet-singer-prodigy performed made news around the world. It was the first time Dylan had performed with an electric backing band, and it was, according to Rolling Stone magazine, "one of the most notable events in music history." This is the 1964 Fender Stratocaster Dylan used during that performance. It sold for $965,000 at a Christies auction on 6 December, 2013
This 1964 Gibson SG was used by The Beatles between 1966 and 1969. George Harrison used it when recording and touring for the album "Revolver." It was used by Harrison in the "Paperback Writer" and "Rain" clips in 1966 and by John Lennon during the "White Album" sessions in 1969. Subsequently owned by Pete Ham of Badfinger and on display for many years at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio. It sold for $567,500 at a Christies auction on 17 December, 2004
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This 1964 Gibson SG was used by The Beatles between 1966 and 1969. George Harrison used it when recording and touring for the album "Revolver." It was used by Harrison in the "Paperback Writer" and "Rain" clips in 1966 and by John Lennon during the "White Album" sessions in 1969. Subsequently owned by Pete Ham of Badfinger and on display for many years at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio. It sold for $567,500 at a Christies auction on 17 December, 2004
One of the few guitars in this list not previously owned by a legendary guitar player, gaining its value through scarcity. Less than 50 were made because no-one wanted them in 1958 when the Gibson catalogue listed them at $247.50, the same price as a Les Paul Standard. The model was discontinued in the early sixties. It sold for $611,000 at a Skinner auction on 15 October, 2006
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One of the few guitars in this list not previously owned by a legendary guitar player, gaining its value through scarcity. Less than 50 were made because no-one wanted them in 1958 when the Gibson catalogue listed them at $247.50, the same price as a Les Paul Standard. The model was discontinued in the early sixties. It sold for $611,000 at a Skinner auction on 15 October, 2006
Screen clip from Cooper Owen Music Media Auctions showing Paul McCartney with the guitar that started him on the path to becoming the most successful recording artist of all-time. This Rex acoustic was the first guitar Paul McCartney ever held. It was also the guitar on which he learned his first chords. It sold for $615,203 (£330,000) at a Cooper Owen auction on 28 July, 2006
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Screen clip from Cooper Owen Music Media Auctions showing Paul McCartney with the guitar that started him on the path to becoming the most successful recording artist of all-time. This Rex acoustic was the first guitar Paul McCartney ever held. It was also the guitar on which he learned his first chords. It sold for $615,203 (£330,000) at a Cooper Owen auction on 28 July, 2006
This 1930 Martin OM-45 Deluxe was the companion guitar to actor Roy Rogers across 100 movies and a thousand recording sessions, from 1933 to his death in 1998. It sold for $554,500 at a Christies auction on 3 April, 2009
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This 1930 Martin OM-45 Deluxe was the companion guitar to actor Roy Rogers across 100 movies and a thousand recording sessions, from 1933 to his death in 1998. It sold for $554,500 at a Christies auction on 3 April, 2009
This 1964 Vox V251 Guitar Organ prototype proved equally as unpopular with the public as it did with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones (both received promotional instruments). While the Vox Guitar/Organ never became popular, it could well be seen as the fore-runner of the synthesizer. It sold for $305,000 at a Sothebys auctioned on 24 June, 2014
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This 1964 Vox V251 Guitar Organ prototype proved equally as unpopular with the public as it did with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones (both received promotional instruments). While the Vox Guitar/Organ never became popular, it could well be seen as the fore-runner of the synthesizer. It sold for $305,000 at a Sothebys auctioned on 24 June, 2014
Eric Clapton with his Blackie Stratocaster which sold for $959,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
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Eric Clapton with his Blackie Stratocaster which sold for $959,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
Jerry Garcia’s custom-made Doug Irwin "Wolf" sold for $789,500 at a Guernseys auctioned on 8 May, 2002
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Jerry Garcia’s custom-made Doug Irwin "Wolf" sold for $789,500 at a Guernseys auctioned on 8 May, 2002
Jerry Garcia’s Doug Irwin "Tiger," another custom guitar made by master luthier Doug Irwin. This was the primary guitar of Grateful Dead lead guitarist Jerry Garcia from 1979 to 1985. It was also the last guitar Garcia played publicly. It sold for $957,500 at a Guernseys auction on 8 May, 2002
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Jerry Garcia’s Doug Irwin "Tiger," another custom guitar made by master luthier Doug Irwin. This was the primary guitar of Grateful Dead lead guitarist Jerry Garcia from 1979 to 1985. It was also the last guitar Garcia played publicly. It sold for $957,500 at a Guernseys auction on 8 May, 2002
The Grateful Dead in concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday, August 3, 1994. Seen here is Jerry Garcia playing his "Rosebud" guitar, and Vince Welnick on keyboards
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The Grateful Dead in concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday, August 3, 1994. Seen here is Jerry Garcia playing his "Rosebud" guitar, and Vince Welnick on keyboards
Eric Clapton’s "Brownie" Fender Stratocaster. Purchased second-hand for $300 by Clapton, this guitar played many of those famous chords and riffs from his Cream days in 1967, all the way through to being back-up for Blackie until Derek and the Dominoes. Brownie was used by Clapton in the recording of Layla on August 26, 1970, with the chemistry between Duane Allman's 1957 Gibson Les Paul and the haunting Strat providing one of the most famous guitar interplays of all-time. It sold for $497,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 1999
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Eric Clapton’s "Brownie" Fender Stratocaster. Purchased second-hand for $300 by Clapton, this guitar played many of those famous chords and riffs from his Cream days in 1967, all the way through to being back-up for Blackie until Derek and the Dominoes. Brownie was used by Clapton in the recording of Layla on August 26, 1970, with the chemistry between Duane Allman's 1957 Gibson Les Paul and the haunting Strat providing one of the most famous guitar interplays of all-time. It sold for $497,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 1999
This 1963 Maton Mastersound MS500 was played by George Harrison during the summer of 1963 while his Gretsch Country Gentleman was being repaired. It was borrowed from Barratts Music Store in Manchester England. It sold for $485,000 at a Juliens auction on 15 May, 2015
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This 1963 Maton Mastersound MS500 was played by George Harrison during the summer of 1963 while his Gretsch Country Gentleman was being repaired. It was borrowed from Barratts Music Store in Manchester England. It sold for $485,000 at a Juliens auction on 15 May, 2015
This 1966 Red Fender Mustang was used by Hendrix on his 1966 album "Axis: Bold as Love" and his 1967 album "Electric Ladyland." It sold for $490,000 at a Juliens auction on 27 April, 2007
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This 1966 Red Fender Mustang was used by Hendrix on his 1966 album "Axis: Bold as Love" and his 1967 album "Electric Ladyland." It sold for $490,000 at a Juliens auction on 27 April, 2007
This 1963 Maton Mastersound MS500 was played by George Harrison during the summer of 1963 while his Gretsch Country Gentleman was being repaired. It was borrowed from Barratts Music Store in Manchester England. It sold for $485,000 at a Juliens auction on 15 May, 2015
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This 1963 Maton Mastersound MS500 was played by George Harrison during the summer of 1963 while his Gretsch Country Gentleman was being repaired. It was borrowed from Barratts Music Store in Manchester England. It sold for $485,000 at a Juliens auction on 15 May, 2015
This strat was ordered by Eric Clapton in 1996, at the time of the 50th anniversary of Fender. Clapton wanted something that could hang in a museum, so the company made him a custom Stratocaster plated with 23 carat gold. It sold for $455,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
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This strat was ordered by Eric Clapton in 1996, at the time of the 50th anniversary of Fender. Clapton wanted something that could hang in a museum, so the company made him a custom Stratocaster plated with 23 carat gold. It sold for $455,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
George Harrison was presented with this Rosewood Telecaster by Fender in December, 1968. He played it in The Beatles' last ever live performance on top of the Apple building in London, in the 1970 Beatles movie "Let It Be" and on various parts of the "Abbey Road" album. It sold for $434,750 at a Juliens auction on September 13, 2003
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George Harrison was presented with this Rosewood Telecaster by Fender in December, 1968. He played it in The Beatles' last ever live performance on top of the Apple building in London, in the 1970 Beatles movie "Let It Be" and on various parts of the "Abbey Road" album. It sold for $434,750 at a Juliens auction on September 13, 2003
This 1966 custom Vox Kensington guitar was custom-made in 1966 and presented to the group in 1967 while they were working on the "Magical Mystery Tour" album. Harrison only practiced "I Am The Walrus" on this guitar but Lennon used it while recording the video of "Hello, Goodbye." It sold for $418,000 at a Juliens auction on 18 May, 2013
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This 1966 custom Vox Kensington guitar was custom-made in 1966 and presented to the group in 1967 while they were working on the "Magical Mystery Tour" album. Harrison only practiced "I Am The Walrus" on this guitar but Lennon used it while recording the video of "Hello, Goodbye." It sold for $418,000 at a Juliens auction on 18 May, 2013
This 1964 Stratocaster was given by Jimi Hendrix to his brother Leon in 1968 in Seattle. According to Leon he told Jimi that he was going to start a band. Jimi asked him if he had a guitar. Leon said no and so Jimi gave him the 1964 Fender. Leon kept it for nearly 50 years and put it up for auction in 2015. It sold for $385,917 (£260,280) at a Ted Owen & Co auction on 1 April, 2015
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This 1964 Stratocaster was given by Jimi Hendrix to his brother Leon in 1968 in Seattle. According to Leon he told Jimi that he was going to start a band. Jimi asked him if he had a guitar. Leon said no and so Jimi gave him the 1964 Fender. Leon kept it for nearly 50 years and put it up for auction in 2015. It sold for $385,917 (£260,280) at a Ted Owen & Co auction on 1 April, 2015
This 1930 Martin OM-45 Deluxe is one of just 14 ever made, and fewer than 10 are still known to exist. It is regarded by many as the most beautiful, the most collectible and the most valuable guitar that Martin ever made and its sound is also beyond compare. It sold for $366,000 at a Guernseys auction on 3 April, 2014
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This 1930 Martin OM-45 Deluxe is one of just 14 ever made, and fewer than 10 are still known to exist. It is regarded by many as the most beautiful, the most collectible and the most valuable guitar that Martin ever made and its sound is also beyond compare. It sold for $366,000 at a Guernseys auction on 3 April, 2014
This 1949 Fender Broadcaster prototype was sold privately in 1994 for $375,000, believed to be the highest price ever paid for a guitar at the time. It was Leo Fender’s first prototype for the Fender Telecaster, the world's first commercial solid-body, single-cutaway electric guitar.
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This 1949 Fender Broadcaster prototype was sold privately in 1994 for $375,000, believed to be the highest price ever paid for a guitar at the time. It was Leo Fender’s first prototype for the Fender Telecaster, the world's first commercial solid-body, single-cutaway electric guitar.
There are no photos of John Lennon playing this instrument and he himself never mentioned owning a Senator. He did own a Hofner Club 40 in 1959, and there is at least one photo showing Lennon playing a Club 40 at The Casbah Club in Liverpool. This was at the time of The Quarrymen and, certainly Ken Brown of The Quarrymen did own a Senator. But did Lennon? It sold for $338,823 at a Christies auction on 1 July, 2009
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There are no photos of John Lennon playing this instrument and he himself never mentioned owning a Senator. He did own a Hofner Club 40 in 1959, and there is at least one photo showing Lennon playing a Club 40 at The Casbah Club in Liverpool. This was at the time of The Quarrymen and, certainly Ken Brown of The Quarrymen did own a Senator. But did Lennon? It sold for $338,823 at a Christies auction on 1 July, 2009
The original Les Paul. Once owned by Les Paul himself. It sold for $343,750 at a Guernsey's auction on 19 February, 2015
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The original Les Paul. Once owned by Les Paul himself. It sold for $343,750 at a Guernsey's auction on 19 February, 2015
At the time of it's sale, this Stratocaster was the most recent addition to Eric Clapton’s collection of Signature Stratocaster Custom guitars and his third painted by graffiti artist Crash. Clapton used this as his main stage guitar from the One Generation 4 Another Albert Hall concert on 15 March, 2004 until the concert the night before his famous Christies Crossroads auction on 24 June, 2004 where it fetched $321,100
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At the time of it's sale, this Stratocaster was the most recent addition to Eric Clapton’s collection of Signature Stratocaster Custom guitars and his third painted by graffiti artist Crash. Clapton used this as his main stage guitar from the One Generation 4 Another Albert Hall concert on 15 March, 2004 until the concert the night before his famous Christies Crossroads auction on 24 June, 2004 where it fetched $321,100
The best–known of Jerry Garcia’s three Travis Bean guitars, Garcia played this TB1000 during a number of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band’s most famous shows (Golden Gate Park Show in September, 1975 and the Orpheum Theater Shows in May and July of 1976) as well as the recording of the "Steal Your Face" and the "Terrapin Station" albums. It sold for $300,000 at a Bonhams auction on 8 May, 2007
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The best–known of Jerry Garcia’s three Travis Bean guitars, Garcia played this TB1000 during a number of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band’s most famous shows (Golden Gate Park Show in September, 1975 and the Orpheum Theater Shows in May and July of 1976) as well as the recording of the "Steal Your Face" and the "Terrapin Station" albums. It sold for $300,000 at a Bonhams auction on 8 May, 2007
This cream 1975 Les Paul guitar is only the third guitar, after his Explorer and Black Stratocaster, that U2's The Edge purchased. He bought in New York in 1982 and used it in the recording studio and on stage for more than 20 years. It sold for $298,000 at a Julien's auction on 27 April, 2007
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This cream 1975 Les Paul guitar is only the third guitar, after his Explorer and Black Stratocaster, that U2's The Edge purchased. He bought in New York in 1982 and used it in the recording studio and on stage for more than 20 years. It sold for $298,000 at a Julien's auction on 27 April, 2007
This is the 1966 Fender Stratocaster used by Hendrix at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival where he famously set his guitar on fire using lighter fluid. Fortunately, the guitar was switched for another just prior to the sacrificial burning. It sold for $288,493 (£180,000) at a Fame Bureau auction on 27 November, 2012
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This is the 1966 Fender Stratocaster used by Hendrix at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival where he famously set his guitar on fire using lighter fluid. Fortunately, the guitar was switched for another just prior to the sacrificial burning. It sold for $288,493 (£180,000) at a Fame Bureau auction on 27 November, 2012
The Bigsby Solid Body is, arguably, the first solid body electric guitar ever made. Paul Bigsby made approximately 23 electric guitars and most are accounted for. This 1949 Bigsby Solid Body is number 4 and sold for $266,000 at a Heritage auction on 21 April, 2012
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The Bigsby Solid Body is, arguably, the first solid body electric guitar ever made. Paul Bigsby made approximately 23 electric guitars and most are accounted for. This 1949 Bigsby Solid Body is number 4 and sold for $266,000 at a Heritage auction on 21 April, 2012
The Martin Dreadnought D–28 which was used by Merle Travis throughout most of his career. Country artist, Merle Travis, purchased the third Bigsby Birdseye Maple Solid Body Electric Guitar from Luthier, engineer and inventor Paul Bigsby in 1949 and was so impressed by the neck on the guitar that he asked Bigsby to replace the neck on his Brazilian Rosewood Martin Dreadnought D–28 with something similar. Travis used the resultant guitar throughout most of his career, also using it to compose such hits as one of the top selling songs and most-recorded songs of all time, Sixteen Tons, and Dark as a Dungeon. It sold for $264,000 at a Christies auctioned on 2 April, 2007
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The Martin Dreadnought D–28 which was used by Merle Travis throughout most of his career. Country artist, Merle Travis, purchased the third Bigsby Birdseye Maple Solid Body Electric Guitar from Luthier, engineer and inventor Paul Bigsby in 1949 and was so impressed by the neck on the guitar that he asked Bigsby to replace the neck on his Brazilian Rosewood Martin Dreadnought D–28 with something similar. Travis used the resultant guitar throughout most of his career, also using it to compose such hits as one of the top selling songs and most-recorded songs of all time, Sixteen Tons, and Dark as a Dungeon. It sold for $264,000 at a Christies auctioned on 2 April, 2007
The most expensive classical guitar ever sold at auction, this 1977 Juan Alvarez Classical was used by Eric Clapton in the promotional video for 'Tears in Heaven.' It was also used on MTV’s 1992 "Unplugged" when he played it on "Signe," "Tears in Heaven" and "The Circus Left Town" and in the very poignant interview with Sue Lawley of the BBC when he played "Tears In Heaven" publicly for the first time. It was also the guitar used by Clapton 18 hours a day during his period of grieving after the death of his son, and the guitar on which he wrote "Tears in Heaven." It sold for $253,900 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
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The most expensive classical guitar ever sold at auction, this 1977 Juan Alvarez Classical was used by Eric Clapton in the promotional video for 'Tears in Heaven.' It was also used on MTV’s 1992 "Unplugged" when he played it on "Signe," "Tears in Heaven" and "The Circus Left Town" and in the very poignant interview with Sue Lawley of the BBC when he played "Tears In Heaven" publicly for the first time. It was also the guitar used by Clapton 18 hours a day during his period of grieving after the death of his son, and the guitar on which he wrote "Tears in Heaven." It sold for $253,900 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
Dubbed by Clapton as "Ivan the Terrible" and used on the 1969 album "Blind Faith" this Anthony Zemaitis 12-string custom was subsequently loaned to George Harrison who used it in recording "My Sweet Lord." It sold for $253,900 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
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Dubbed by Clapton as "Ivan the Terrible" and used on the 1969 album "Blind Faith" this Anthony Zemaitis 12-string custom was subsequently loaned to George Harrison who used it in recording "My Sweet Lord." It sold for $253,900 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
This Travis Bean TB500 electric guitar was sold for $301,840 ($243,200 plus buyers commission) at a Juliens auction on 6 December, 2013
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This Travis Bean TB500 electric guitar was sold for $301,840 ($243,200 plus buyers commission) at a Juliens auction on 6 December, 2013
In 1958, Gibson began producing the Les Paul Standard model, which retained most of the features of the Goldtop, though the finish became a cherry-red version of the Sunburst finish long used on Gibson's flat-top and archtop acoustic and hollow electric guitars. Production ended in 1961, when Gibson redesigned it to feature a double cutaway body, subsequently becoming the Gibson SG. Around 1,700 instruments were made in the first series, and these are now highly valuable. Though it had no remarkable provenance, the pre-auction estimate of $225,000 to $250,000 for this guitar proved accurate. Production was resumed in 1968 due to public demand, and continues to this day. It sold for $237,000 at a Skinner auction on 3 May, 2009
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In 1958, Gibson began producing the Les Paul Standard model, which retained most of the features of the Goldtop, though the finish became a cherry-red version of the Sunburst finish long used on Gibson's flat-top and archtop acoustic and hollow electric guitars. Production ended in 1961, when Gibson redesigned it to feature a double cutaway body, subsequently becoming the Gibson SG. Around 1,700 instruments were made in the first series, and these are now highly valuable. Though it had no remarkable provenance, the pre-auction estimate of $225,000 to $250,000 for this guitar proved accurate. Production was resumed in 1968 due to public demand, and continues to this day. It sold for $237,000 at a Skinner auction on 3 May, 2009
Euphemistically called the "Nocaster" - the Fender with no name - after the legal spate with Gretsch. Initially, the guitar was called the Broadcaster, but Gretsch had a drum set called the "Broadkaster," with a name it had registered, so Fender simply removed the Broadcaster decals and shipped off the few remaining models. These guitars became known as the Nocaster which ultimately, in 1951, became the Telecaster. This specific guitar was presented to Les Paul by Leo Fender who has autographed it on the back of the headstock. This guitar sold for $225,000 at a Juliens auction on 8 June, 2012
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Euphemistically called the "Nocaster" - the Fender with no name - after the legal spate with Gretsch. Initially, the guitar was called the Broadcaster, but Gretsch had a drum set called the "Broadkaster," with a name it had registered, so Fender simply removed the Broadcaster decals and shipped off the few remaining models. These guitars became known as the Nocaster which ultimately, in 1951, became the Telecaster. This specific guitar was presented to Les Paul by Leo Fender who has autographed it on the back of the headstock. This guitar sold for $225,000 at a Juliens auction on 8 June, 2012
This Gretsch Irish Falcon has been auctioned several times, achieving its highest price of $275,000 (including buyers premium) at a Julien's auction in April, 2007.
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This Gretsch Irish Falcon has been auctioned several times, achieving its highest price of $275,000 (including buyers premium) at a Julien's auction in April, 2007.
This 2000 Fender Custom Stratocaster was played by Eric Clapton in the studio, and used as a back-up stage guitar during the "Reptile" tour of 2001. It was played on stage at least on a couple of occasions, one of which was for the song "Layla" in the last concert of the first leg of the US Tour at Madison Square Garden on 23rd June, 2001. It sold for $220,300 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
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This 2000 Fender Custom Stratocaster was played by Eric Clapton in the studio, and used as a back-up stage guitar during the "Reptile" tour of 2001. It was played on stage at least on a couple of occasions, one of which was for the song "Layla" in the last concert of the first leg of the US Tour at Madison Square Garden on 23rd June, 2001. It sold for $220,300 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
The Martin D-45 was manufactured in limited quantities from 1933 to 1942, and again since 1968. The first series of D-45s was made with sides and backs of Brazilian rosewood (now endangered and illegal to trade) and only 91 instruments were made. It sold for $219,225 at a Skinner auction on 6 November, 2011
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The Martin D-45 was manufactured in limited quantities from 1933 to 1942, and again since 1968. The first series of D-45s was made with sides and backs of Brazilian rosewood (now endangered and illegal to trade) and only 91 instruments were made. It sold for $219,225 at a Skinner auction on 6 November, 2011
This Hofner Violin Bass guitar was built specifically for McCartney in 1964, and is one of three he has owned. The first was lost, the second (a 1963 model) he still plays, and this is the third. It sold for $255,760 ($204,800 plus buyer's fees) at a Julien's auction in December, 2013
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This Hofner Violin Bass guitar was built specifically for McCartney in 1964, and is one of three he has owned. The first was lost, the second (a 1963 model) he still plays, and this is the third. It sold for $255,760 ($204,800 plus buyer's fees) at a Julien's auction in December, 2013
This 1982 Fender Telecaster was used by Bob Dylan in many live performances and LPs from the late 1980s through to 1992. It was sold as part of the Juliens auction benefiting Music Rising for $250,000 in April, 2007
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This 1982 Fender Telecaster was used by Bob Dylan in many live performances and LPs from the late 1980s through to 1992. It was sold as part of the Juliens auction benefiting Music Rising for $250,000 in April, 2007
This 1959 Left-handed Les Paul Standard sold for $194,500 at a Heritage auction on 27 October, 2012
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This 1959 Left-handed Les Paul Standard sold for $194,500 at a Heritage auction on 27 October, 2012
This ex-Hendrix Sunburst Fender Stratocaster was sold for $237,500 at a Juliens auction on 24 June, 2010
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This ex-Hendrix Sunburst Fender Stratocaster was sold for $237,500 at a Juliens auction on 24 June, 2010
The prototype 1969/70 Gibson Les Paul Recording model with the repaired headstock stamped "001" and "Original Gibson Prototype." The Bigsby has been customized to accommodate a "Paulverizer" which was included in the sale. This is likely the first Les Paul recording model ever made. This guitar, and Paulverizer are featured on pages 291 and 293 of Les Paul's autobiography. It sold for $237,500 at a Juliens auction on 8 June, 2012
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The prototype 1969/70 Gibson Les Paul Recording model with the repaired headstock stamped "001" and "Original Gibson Prototype." The Bigsby has been customized to accommodate a "Paulverizer" which was included in the sale. This is likely the first Les Paul recording model ever made. This guitar, and Paulverizer are featured on pages 291 and 293 of Les Paul's autobiography. It sold for $237,500 at a Juliens auction on 8 June, 2012
This 1996 Fender Stratocaster Master Built Production Sample served as one of Eric Clapton's main stage guitars between 1998-1999. It was used frequently on the Pilgrim World Tour throughout 1998 and as the main guitar during the Japanese leg of the tour in November/December 1999. This guitar also made appearances at a number of high-profile events including two at the White House in 1998 and 1999 as well as the Crossroads Benefit Concert at Madison Square Garden (which commemorated the 1999 Christie's auction) and at Sheryl Crow's Central Park In Blue concert in 1999. It sold for $186,700 on 24 June, 2004 at a Christies auction
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This 1996 Fender Stratocaster Master Built Production Sample served as one of Eric Clapton's main stage guitars between 1998-1999. It was used frequently on the Pilgrim World Tour throughout 1998 and as the main guitar during the Japanese leg of the tour in November/December 1999. This guitar also made appearances at a number of high-profile events including two at the White House in 1998 and 1999 as well as the Crossroads Benefit Concert at Madison Square Garden (which commemorated the 1999 Christie's auction) and at Sheryl Crow's Central Park In Blue concert in 1999. It sold for $186,700 on 24 June, 2004 at a Christies auction
Eric Clapton refers to this 1966 Martin Style 000-28 as "The Longworth," after Mike Longworth, a custom builder and the historian for C.F. Martin and Company. Clapton acquired it in Nashville in November 1970 while he was on his US Tour with the Dominos. He used the guitar for recording sessions at Criteria Studios in Miami in the spring of 1974, which produced the "461 Ocean Boulevard" album and made regular stage appearances until November 1995. It sold for $186,700 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
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Eric Clapton refers to this 1966 Martin Style 000-28 as "The Longworth," after Mike Longworth, a custom builder and the historian for C.F. Martin and Company. Clapton acquired it in Nashville in November 1970 while he was on his US Tour with the Dominos. He used the guitar for recording sessions at Criteria Studios in Miami in the spring of 1974, which produced the "461 Ocean Boulevard" album and made regular stage appearances until November 1995. It sold for $186,700 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
This is the first guitar that San Francisco luthier, Doug Irwin, made for Jerry Garcia, and it began their relationship of several decades which resulted in Garcia leaving his guitars to Irwin in his will. Around 1970, Garcia walked into a shop where Irwin was working, building guitars, was immediately attracted to the quality of his work, and bought this guitar on the spot. Simply known as "The Eagle" because of Irwin's eagle logo inlayed on the headstock, this instrument became the inspiration for all subsequent guitars that Irwin made for Garcia. Garcia was the last person to ever play this guitar. It sold for $186,000 at a Bonhams auction on 8 May, 2007
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This is the first guitar that San Francisco luthier, Doug Irwin, made for Jerry Garcia, and it began their relationship of several decades which resulted in Garcia leaving his guitars to Irwin in his will. Around 1970, Garcia walked into a shop where Irwin was working, building guitars, was immediately attracted to the quality of his work, and bought this guitar on the spot. Simply known as "The Eagle" because of Irwin's eagle logo inlayed on the headstock, this instrument became the inspiration for all subsequent guitars that Irwin made for Garcia. Garcia was the last person to ever play this guitar. It sold for $186,000 at a Bonhams auction on 8 May, 2007
This 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard sold for $182,500 at a Christies auction on 3 April, 2009
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This 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard sold for $182,500 at a Christies auction on 3 April, 2009
The original run of Gibson's Flying V saw just 98 instruments produced between 1958 and 1959 before production was cancelled due to lack of interest and its relatively high price for the time – $247.50 – the same price as a Les Paul Standard. This 1959 Gibson Flying V sold for $182,500 at a Christies auction on 3 April, 2009
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The original run of Gibson's Flying V saw just 98 instruments produced between 1958 and 1959 before production was cancelled due to lack of interest and its relatively high price for the time – $247.50 – the same price as a Les Paul Standard. This 1959 Gibson Flying V sold for $182,500 at a Christies auction on 3 April, 2009
The Quarrymen play St. Peter's Parish Fete in Woolton, Liverpool on 6 July 1957, the day John Lennon met Paul McCartney. From left to right: Griffiths, Hanton, Davis, Lennon, Shotton, Garry
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The Quarrymen play St. Peter's Parish Fete in Woolton, Liverpool on 6 July 1957, the day John Lennon met Paul McCartney. From left to right: Griffiths, Hanton, Davis, Lennon, Shotton, Garry
Jerry Garcia on the cover of Julien's Sale Catalogue
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Jerry Garcia on the cover of Julien's Sale Catalogue
The original Gibson Explorer, along with its sibling, the Flying V, remain two of the most radical guitars ever made, and both are shining examples of guitar design ahead of its time. The legend goes that the design was inspired by the tail fins of 1950’s Cadillacs and Chryslers. Unfortunately the original Explorer was not successful and was discontinued making it now both rare and very expensive. This 1958 Gibson Explorer sold for $153,277 (£95,200) at a Sothebys auction on 13 May, 2003
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The original Gibson Explorer, along with its sibling, the Flying V, remain two of the most radical guitars ever made, and both are shining examples of guitar design ahead of its time. The legend goes that the design was inspired by the tail fins of 1950’s Cadillacs and Chryslers. Unfortunately the original Explorer was not successful and was discontinued making it now both rare and very expensive. This 1958 Gibson Explorer sold for $153,277 (£95,200) at a Sothebys auction on 13 May, 2003
This is one of three early experimental 1940 Epiphone Zephyr models called the “Klunkers” by Les Paul, featured on pages 120 and 121 in his autobiography. It sold for $144,000 at a Juliens auction on 9 June, 2012
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This is one of three early experimental 1940 Epiphone Zephyr models called the “Klunkers” by Les Paul, featured on pages 120 and 121 in his autobiography. It sold for $144,000 at a Juliens auction on 9 June, 2012
The constant companion of one of the all-time greats, Country and Western pioneer Hank Williams, for the last six years of his tragically short life. This Martin D-18 was used to record all of the 35 singles which reached Top 10 on the Billboard Country and Western Best Sellers chart (including 11 No. 1 singles and five "million sellers") and to write such hits as "Your Cheatin Heart" and "Jambalaya." It sold for $134,500 at a Christies auction on 3 December, 2009
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The constant companion of one of the all-time greats, Country and Western pioneer Hank Williams, for the last six years of his tragically short life. This Martin D-18 was used to record all of the 35 singles which reached Top 10 on the Billboard Country and Western Best Sellers chart (including 11 No. 1 singles and five "million sellers") and to write such hits as "Your Cheatin Heart" and "Jambalaya." It sold for $134,500 at a Christies auction on 3 December, 2009
This ES295 was used in recording U2's "Desire" and can be seen in the video for this song. It was also used on the Joshua Tree album and subsequent U2 tours up to the Vertigo tour. He played with this instrument on such live numbers as "The Electrico Co." and "God's Country." It sold for $131,250 at a Juliens auction on 27 April, 2007
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This ES295 was used in recording U2's "Desire" and can be seen in the video for this song. It was also used on the Joshua Tree album and subsequent U2 tours up to the Vertigo tour. He played with this instrument on such live numbers as "The Electrico Co." and "God's Country." It sold for $131,250 at a Juliens auction on 27 April, 2007
Another of the approximately 1,700 Gibson Les Paul Standards created between 1958 and 1960, this 1960 Gibson Les Paul Sunburst sold for $134,500 at a Heritage auction on 20 April, 2013
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Another of the approximately 1,700 Gibson Les Paul Standards created between 1958 and 1960, this 1960 Gibson Les Paul Sunburst sold for $134,500 at a Heritage auction on 20 April, 2013
This was the first brand name guitar owned by the man who named, founded and initially led the Rolling Stones: Brian Jones. Purchased in 1962, Jones used this guitar almost exclusively until the autumn of 1963 when the Stones signed with Decca Records. It sold for $130,824 (£79,250) at a Christies auction on 1 July 2009
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This was the first brand name guitar owned by the man who named, founded and initially led the Rolling Stones: Brian Jones. Purchased in 1962, Jones used this guitar almost exclusively until the autumn of 1963 when the Stones signed with Decca Records. It sold for $130,824 (£79,250) at a Christies auction on 1 July 2009
Brian Jones playing this 1960 Harmony Stratotone on stage with the Rolling Stones' first line up at the Marquee Club, Oxford Street, London in 1963. They certainly look like a bunch of clean cut lads these days but their long hair at the time was quite outrageous
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Brian Jones playing this 1960 Harmony Stratotone on stage with the Rolling Stones' first line up at the Marquee Club, Oxford Street, London in 1963. They certainly look like a bunch of clean cut lads these days but their long hair at the time was quite outrageous
Yet another Gibson Les Paul Standard, this 1959 model sold for $127,000 on 16 October, 2005 at a Skinner auction
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Yet another Gibson Les Paul Standard, this 1959 model sold for $127,000 on 16 October, 2005 at a Skinner auction
This Hofner left-handed vintage bass was rented by Paul McCartney from Harris Hire in Beckenham, England, on numerous occasions between 1997 and 2013 . It sold for $125,000 at a Juliens auction on 17 May, 2014
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This Hofner left-handed vintage bass was rented by Paul McCartney from Harris Hire in Beckenham, England, on numerous occasions between 1997 and 2013 . It sold for $125,000 at a Juliens auction on 17 May, 2014
This Travis Bean TB500 guitar (this is number 11, number 12 is also on this list) was used extensively by Jerry Garcia on stage, in the studio and when jamming with his entourage, while with the Grateful Dead and The Jerry Garcia Band. Apparently the first time he saw this new hand made guitar he laughed, as the unusual custom aluminum neck was surprisingly different, however he quickly changed his mind when he played the guitar for the first time, thanks to it's pure tonal qualities. It sold for $124,052 (£75,700) at a Bonhams auction on 18 December, 2013
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This Travis Bean TB500 guitar (this is number 11, number 12 is also on this list) was used extensively by Jerry Garcia on stage, in the studio and when jamming with his entourage, while with the Grateful Dead and The Jerry Garcia Band. Apparently the first time he saw this new hand made guitar he laughed, as the unusual custom aluminum neck was surprisingly different, however he quickly changed his mind when he played the guitar for the first time, thanks to it's pure tonal qualities. It sold for $124,052 (£75,700) at a Bonhams auction on 18 December, 2013
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The promotional poster for the famous gig (no image available of the guitar)
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The promotional poster for the famous gig (no image available of the guitar)
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The 3/4 size guitar John Lennon was playing on that auspicious day when the world's most famous songwriting duo met. It "broke" in 1958 and was left in the care of Lennon’s Aunt Mimi, who, on his death, and after getting the guitar repaired, gave it to a disabled boy and when he died it was passed on to a disabled girl. The guitar was auctioned in 1999 with the proceeds going to safeguard her future. The guitar was auctioned bearing a brass plaque which Lennon's Aunt Mimi had mounted on the headstock with the advice she once gave to a young Lennon: "Remember, you'll never earn your living by it." It sold ion 14 September, 1999 at a Sotheby’s auction for $244,384 (£155,000)
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The 3/4 size guitar John Lennon was playing on that auspicious day when the world's most famous songwriting duo met. It "broke" in 1958 and was left in the care of Lennon’s Aunt Mimi, who, on his death, and after getting the guitar repaired, gave it to a disabled boy and when he died it was passed on to a disabled girl. The guitar was auctioned in 1999 with the proceeds going to safeguard her future. The guitar was auctioned bearing a brass plaque which Lennon's Aunt Mimi had mounted on the headstock with the advice she once gave to a young Lennon: "Remember, you'll never earn your living by it." It sold ion 14 September, 1999 at a Sotheby’s auction for $244,384 (£155,000)
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George Harrison's first electric guitar was this Hofner Club 40
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George Harrison's first electric guitar was this Hofner Club 40
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Dave Gilmour's 1983/1989 Fender Stratocaster
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Dave Gilmour's 1983/1989 Fender Stratocaster
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George Harrison's 1962 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean
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George Harrison's 1962 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean
$214,635 | This 320-year-old guitar by Jean-Baptiste Voboam was created in Paris in 1699. It has been on display at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague and was auctioned by Gardiner Houlgate, 2015
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This 320-year-old guitar by Jean-Baptiste Voboam was created in Paris in 1699. It has been on display at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague and was auctioned by Gardiner Houlgate in 2015 for $214,635
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Les Paul's early 1940s Epiphone Zephyr was sold by Julian's auctions at the Les Paul Estate sale in 2012 for $200,000
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Les Paul's early 1940s Epiphone Zephyr was sold by Julian's auctions at the Les Paul Estate sale in 2012 for $200,000
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This black Gibson ES-345 prototype was given to B.B. King for his 80th birthday. It fetched $280,000 at auction in September, 2019
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This black Gibson ES-345 prototype was given to B.B. King for his 80th birthday. It fetched $280,000 at auction in September, 2019
This black Gibson ES-345 prototype was given to B.B. King for his 80th birthday. It fetched $280,000 at auction in September, 2019
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This black Gibson ES-345 prototype was given to B.B. King for his 80th birthday. It fetched $280,000 at auction in September, 2019
Fender Mustang guitar from Nirvana’s 1993 In Utero tour | Price: $340,000 | Auctioned: October 26, 2019 | Julien's Auctions
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Fender Mustang guitar from Nirvana’s 1993 In Utero tour | Price: $340,000 | Auctioned: October 26, 2019 | Julien's Auctions
Screengrab from the Gibson Guitars article “From the Attic to the Auction: The Skyrocketing Value of Vintage Gibsons”, dated October 2007
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Screengrab from the Gibson Guitars article “From the Attic to the Auction: The Skyrocketing Value of Vintage Gibsons”, dated October 2007
Sold by Christie's in October 2005, this 1959 Gibson Les Paul fetched $268,000
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Sold by Christie's in October 2005, this 1959 Gibson Les Paul fetched $268,000
This 1959 Gibson Les Paul was part of the guitar collection of Geddy Lee, and one of fewer than 1,700 of the desirable 1958-1960 "Burst" examples extant. It sold as part of Mecum’s Guitar Search initiative, in January, 2020. That's Geddy and Rush, live in concert at the Xcel Energy Center on May 22, 2008 as photographed by Matt Becker
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This 1959 Gibson Les Paul was part of the guitar collection of Geddy Lee, and one of fewer than 1,700 of the desirable 1958-1960 "Burst" examples extant. It sold as part of Mecum’s Guitar Search initiative, in January, 2020. That's Geddy and Rush, live in concert at the Xcel Energy Center on May 22, 2008 as photographed by Matt Becker
This is the 1951 Fender Broadcaster with which Stevie Ray Vaughan launched his career. It sold for $250,000 at Heritage Auctions in 2018
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This is the 1951 Fender Broadcaster with which Stevie Ray Vaughan launched his career. It sold for $250,000 at Heritage Auctions in 2018
Elvis Presley's performance on the evening of July 31, 1969, turned his career around. Newsweek wrote, "there are several unbelievable things about Elvis, but the most incredible is his staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars." Rolling Stone wrote of Presley's performance, "supernatural, his own resurrection."
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Elvis Presley's performance on the evening of July 31, 1969, turned his career around. Newsweek wrote, "there are several unbelievable things about Elvis, but the most incredible is his staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars." Rolling Stone wrote of Presley's performance, "supernatural, his own resurrection."
Elvis Presley's 1965 Gretsch Country Gentleman was sold at auction by Julien's in 2008 for $237,500
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Elvis Presley's 1965 Gretsch Country Gentleman was sold at auction by Julien's in 2008 for $237,500
This 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Sunburst was sold by Heritage Auctions for $218,750 in 2019
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This 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Sunburst was sold by Heritage Auctions for $218,750 in 2019
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This original and unrestored 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard is nicknamed "Scarface" thanks to a small area made invisible by the pickguard where the original owner’s "Jimmy Page mod" was removed and repaired. The guitar sold for $212,400 in January, 2020 by new guitar auctioneer, Mecum.
This gorgeous 1959 Gibson Korina Flying V Provenancewas sold by J.Levine in 2017 for $207,000
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This gorgeous 1959 Gibson Korina Flying V Provenancewas sold by J.Levine in 2017 for $207,000
This Collings Model 290 was Prince's last stage performance guitar, played during a tribute concert to Ray Charles on March 12, 2016. The performance was Prince's last time playing a guitar on stage before he passed away on April 21, 2016, less than two months later. The guitar was auctioned by Julien's in 2018, fetching $206,250 (inc buyers premium).
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This Collings Model 290 was Prince's last stage performance guitar, played during a tribute concert to Ray Charles on March 12, 2016. The performance was Prince's last time playing a guitar on stage before he passed away on April 21, 2016, less than two months later. The guitar was auctioned by Julien's in 2018, fetching $206,250 (inc buyers premium).
This 1957 Gibson Les Paul "Black Beauty" Custom sold for $253,000 at Eldreds Auctions in 2007
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This 1957 Gibson Les Paul "Black Beauty" Custom sold for $253,000 at Eldreds Auctions in 2007
This 1966 Rickenbacker Custom once owned and played by Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, sold at auction in 2006 by CooperOwen for $202,909 (£95,000 plus buyers fees). The guitar auctioned previously at Heritage Auctions in 2004 for $117,500.
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This 1966 Rickenbacker Custom once owned and played by Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, sold at auction in 2006 by CooperOwen for $202,909 (£95,000 plus buyers fees). The guitar auctioned previously at Heritage Auctions in 2004 for $117,500.
View gallery - 137 images

Updated: February 21, 2020 | The rise of popular music in the last century can largely be attributed to the accessibility of music, with first recording and playback devices (records, tapes, CDs), the proliferation of mass media (radio and television), then the unstoppable momentum of the MP3 file format and widespread distribution and consumption of music via the Internet. Now that everyone has an audio player in their phone and everyone has a phone, music is more influential than ever.

Nothing catalyses the reliving of a moment in one's life quite as vividly as a musical track. Popular music and technology has helped each and every one of us to construct our own individual soundtrack for our lives, and store it on our person.

The electric guitar is the foremost musical instrument of the last 50 years, so it's not surprising that guitars that have played a lead role in significant musical happenings sell particularly well at auction.

Like collectible cars, it has only been in recent times that vintage guitars have become very valuable at auction and are now viable alternative asset classes for investment.

The following list of the most valuable guitars sold at auction has been compiled in the same way we have compiled our other "most valuable" lists (such as the most valuable cars, most valuable motorcycles and most valuable movie cars), in that we only count those sold at auction which can hence be verified as sold at a certain price by a reputable source (the auction house). Private sales don't count because there is no publicly available record of the transaction (and word-of-mouth tends to exaggerate a price).

We've also used the same valuation methodology as previous lists (the auction price listed includes the buyer's premium to reflect the total price paid by the purchaser) and we've converted all prices into American dollars at the prevailing exchange rates on the day of the auction, ordering the list based on the price in American dollars, mainly because America is the heart of the collectibles industry, and we once before found that using more than one currency is problematic due to fluctuating exchange rates.

Guitars as an investment

It's fair to say that guitars are not yet as robust an asset class as traditional stocks and bonds. When the availability of liquidity dried up in the mid-1980s, the price of guitars took the best part of a decade to recover, then it stalled again with the dotcom bust, and it is only recently on a roll after the 2008 financial crisis. Though it must also be said that when the market is rolling, wisely investing in guitars offers far greater returns than anything you'll get in the stock market. Our musical heritage is again a driving factor, and the new wave of money brought by the rise of the Internet has created a new class of investor with a different set of tastes and values.

It's not every vintage guitar that appreciates rapidly in value though. As Gibson itself states on its website, "The vintage and limited edition guitar growth in market value is often quoted at about 15 percent per year on average, but these are generally limited to instruments built during the 1950s and 1960s."

1 | $3,975,000 | 1969/1983 Fender Stratocaster

Provenance: Dave Gilmour's 'Black Strat', many Pink Floyd albums & live performances

Auctioned by Christie’s, 2019

The Black Strat was Gilmour's primary performance and recording guitar on every Pink Floyd album from 1970 to 1983 plus all four of his solo albums. It is the primary guitar used on The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977) and The Wall (1979). It was also the guitar played in the famous Gilmour guitar solos in Shine on You Crazy Diamond and Comfortably Numb.
This is the feature guitar on two landmark albums - The Dark Side of the Moon is the third most successful (top selling) album of all-time and The Wall is the second most successful double album in history. This guitar has been heard by billions of people for half a century.

2 | $2,902,000 | 1962 Gibson J-160E

Provenance: Lennon/McCartney songwriting, The Beatles, “She Loves You”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Please, Please, Me”, “All My Loving" and “From Me to You”

Auctioned by Julien’s, 2015

This is the guitar John Lennon used in his initial songwriting collaborations with Paul McCartney, the pair both going on individually and together to become the most successful songwriters of all time. On this guitar, the duo wrote such classic songs as She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Please, Please, Me, All My Loving and From Me to You, and those songs and many more of The Beatles' early hits were recorded with it too.

3 | $2,700,000 | 2005 Fender Stratocaster

The most expensive guitar in history sold for US$2,700,000 at a "Reach out to Asia" charity auction on 16 November, 2005. It was signed by a "who's who" of the world's greatest guitar exponents and rock stars including Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davis, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Iommi, Angus & Malcolm Young, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard, and Bryan Adams.
The most expensive guitar in history sold for US$2,700,000 at a "Reach out to Asia" charity auction on 16 November, 2005. It was signed by a "who's who" of the world's greatest guitar exponents and rock stars including Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davis, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Iommi, Angus & Malcolm Young, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard, and Bryan Adams.

Provenance: "Reach Out to Asia" charity auction - signed by Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davies, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Iommi, Angus & Malcolm Young, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard, and Bryan Adams

Auctioned by "Reach out to Asia" Charity Auction, 2005

This guitar was sold at an auction co-ordinated by Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams, in Doha, Qatar on November 16, 2005, to raise funds for the tsunami charity, Reach out to Asia. The guitar was signed by a "who's who" of the world's greatest guitar exponents and rock stars and was initially purchased by Qatar's royal family for US$1 million and then donated back to the Reach out to Asia Program, bringing in US$2.7 million at auction, and hence ultimately generating a total of US$3.7 million. The guitar auction was conducted by Sotheby's Henry Wyndham, who said from the podium, "I have auctioned many items for charity in my life but never have I witnessed the levels we achieved tonight. This will stay in my memory for a very long time indeed."

XX | $2,000,000 | 1959 Les Paul Standard

Provenance: Peter Green, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, Kirk Hammett, Metallica

Private sale - unconfirmed

If this guitar could talk, it would have a tale to tell. Its early history is unknown, with it being purchased second-hand by Peter Green prior to him joining John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers to replace Eric Clapton in 1967. After 12 months with Mayall, Green and friend Mick Fleetwood began Fleetwood Mac, and this guitar can be heard on Fleetwood Mac’s initial hits such as "Albatross", "Black Magic Woman", "Oh Well", "The Green Manalishi" and "Man of the World."

In 1970, Green loaned the guitar to a promising but unknown young guitar player named Gary Moore, eventually selling him the guitar for $300, the same price that Moore had received for selling his Gibson SG, his main guitar at that time. Moore went on to become one of the world’s most respected guitar players, and used this guitar for 30 years, from his 1973 debut album Grinding Stone, during several stints in Thin Lizzy, and with Colosseum II from 1975 to 1978. The guitar can also be heard on “Parisienne Walkways” and "Out in the Fields" and his best-selling album Still Got the Blues in 1990. In 2006, Moore sold the guitar for a price rumoured to be between $750,000 and $1.2 million, passing through the hands of several collectors before being purchased in 2014 by Kirk Hammett of Metallica. Hammett has given the guitar yet another life, often using it to play Metallica’s cover of “Whiskey in the Jar” in concert. The traditional Irish folk song was popularized by Thin Lizzy with the lead being played with the same guitar, decades later. The tone of this guitar, believed to be due to one of the pick-ups being reversed during its original construction, has attracted three of the world’s most acclaimed guitar players and has kept it in the public spotlight for six decades.

XX (49) | $2,000,000 | 1968 White Fender Stratocaster

Provenance: Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Woodstock, "The Star Spangled Banner", Newport Pop Festival, Isle of Fehmarn

Private sale - unconfirmed

This blonde, maple-necked 1968 Fender Stratocaster guitar has been one of the most valuable guitars in the world for the last quarter century, primarily due to Jimi Hendrix' famous performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Woodstock Festival in August, 1969.

The guitar last traded publicly at auction in April, 1990, when Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell entrusted the guitar to Sotheby's and it sold for £198,000 ($325,000), to become the world's most valuable guitar. Even though it sold for that price 30 years ago, it still holds 49th place on this list, based on that sale.

It was subsequently sold for a reported US$2.0 million in 2008 to the Experience Music Project (a non-profit museum, dedicated to contemporary popular culture and founded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen) which subsequently morphed into the EMP Museum, and is now the Museum of Pop Culture.

Interestingly, by comparison to the cars and motorcycles which populate our top 250 most valuable listings, and are restored to as-new perfection, this guitar bears the markings of Hendrix' provenance. It reportedly still has the stains on the back from Hendrix' colorful shirts, the nut has been reversed to accommodate the upside-down stringing and there are burns on the neck from Hendrix lodging cigarettes between the neck and strings and letting them burn down while he was playing it. This guitar can now be seen on display at the Museum of Pop Culture.

4 | $1,900,000 | 1973 Doug Irwin Custom

Jerry Garcia’s custom-made Doug Irwin "Wolf" sold for $789,500 at a Guernseys auctioned on 8 May, 2002
Jerry Garcia’s custom-made Doug Irwin "Wolf" sold for $789,500 at a Guernseys auctioned on 8 May, 2002

Provenance: Jerry Garcia's "Wolf", Jerry Garcia Band, Grateful Dead

Auctioned by Guernseys, 2017

"Eagle" was Jerry Garcia's first custom guitar, and Garcia was so impressed with it he asked master luthier Doug Irwin to make another, but with Stratocaster pick-ups. The result was the 'Wolf', delivered to Garcia in 1973, and played for six years. It cost him $1,500, a princely sum in those days for a guitar. At the same time he commissioned another guitar from Irwin, one with which he gave Irwin complete free rein to build. It took six years to complete this second guitar which became known as 'Tiger' – see below in this listing. Garcia's Wolf guitar suffered some damage during a European tour in 1976 and was returned to Irwin for repairs. It was at this time that Irwin replaced the Wolf sticker that Garcia had stuck onto the guitar, with wood inlays. Garcia willed, on his death in 1995, both Wolf and Tiger to Doug Irwin.

After Irwin settled a lawsuit against the Grateful Dead in November 2001 ("The Dead" had claimed ownership of the instruments), Irwin put them up for sale in a Guernseys auction of Grateful Dead memorabilia at Manhattan's Studio 54 on May 8, 2002. The standing-room-only crowd cheered every bid and Wolf sold for $798,500, well surpassing the then world record of $497,500, set in 1999 by Eric Clapton's Fender Stratocaster "Brownie." Some worthwhile reading on this subject includes Guitar Player's How Jerry Garcia revolutionised the custom guitar industry, an article about Wolf by Doug Irwin, and a wonderful link on Jerry Garcia's Guitars in detail. In 2017, philanthropist Daniel Pritzker, who purchased the guitar in 2002, put Wolf up for auction with Guernseys and Wolf moved back to the top of the pack (albeit in third place at that time, rather than its previous chart-topping number one place), with the $1.9 million proceeds going to charity.

5 | $1,815,000 | 1954 Fender Stratocaster #0001

Provenance: Dave Gilmour, Pink Floyd, "Another Brick in the Wall"

Auctioned by Christie's, 2019

It isn't the first Stratocaster. That had serial number #0100 and was last sold by Dave Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars in 2014 for $250,000. This guitar, despite having serial number #0001 and Dave Gilmour in its provenance, still surprised by fetching the fifth-highest price in history. The guitar was clearly built as a showcase piece with its white body, maple neck, three-way pick up selector and gold hardware. Gilmour purchased it from guitar technician Phil Taylor, who had bought it from Seymour Duncan. Gilmour used it to play Marooned, Coming Back to Life and Sorrow in the 2004 Strat Pack at Wembley Arena in honor of the Stratocaster's 50th anniversary.

6 | $1,250,000 | 1957 Gibson Les Paul

The Goldtop 1957 Gibson Les Paul guitar which Duane Allman used to record "Layla" alongside Eric Clapton
The Goldtop 1957 Gibson Les Paul guitar which Duane Allman used to record "Layla" alongside Eric Clapton

Provenance: Duane Allman, Allman Brothers Band, Derek and the Dominoes, "Layla", Layla Sessions, and albums "The Allman Brothers Band" and "Idlewild South"

Auctioned by Gottahaverockandroll.com, 2019

Duane Allman (November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971) died in a motorcycle accident at just 24 years of age, yet despite leaving us before his time, is generally regarded as one of the best guitar players of all time.

In 2003, he was ranked second to Jimi Hendrix in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitar players of all time, with a subsequent Rolling Stone listing compiled by a different panel ranking him in ninth place in 2011.

Until 2019, Allman's guitars were noticeably absent from this listing, but two separate auctions inside a week saw his 1961/1962 Cherry Gibson SG fetch US$591,000, and a few days later, this 1957 Goldtop Gibson Les Paul Guitar fetched $1.25 million.

The 1957 Goldtop Gibson Les Paul was Allman's main guitar during the first two years of the Allman Brothers Band, and is the guitar which Allman used alongside Eric Clapton in recording Layla. Allman also used the guitar throughout the recording sessions with Derek and the Dominos in August 1970 for the studio album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970).

The Goldtop was used on the Allman Brothers self-titled debut album released in 1969, as well as Idlewild South released in 1970. The albums featured the original versions of "Whipping Post," "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," "Midnight Rider," "Revival" and other classics. The guitar can clearly be seen in the "Loan Me A Dime" studio sessions.

The guitar has been on display at the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House in Macon, Georgia, and has also been played by Billy Gibbons, Kirk Hammett, Charlie Starr, Vince Gill, Derek Trucks and many more.

Just a few weeks after the "Layla" sessions, Allman traded the guitar for a cherry sunburst. On September 16, 1970, the Allmans played a show in Duane and Gregg Allman's hometown of Daytona, Florida. Duane, fresh off recording "Layla" was, as usual, playing this '57 Goldtop. The opening band was a local group called the Stone Balloon, whose guitarist, Rick Stine, was playing a 1959 cherry sunburst Les Paul.

While making "Layla", Allman had fallen in love with Clapton's cherry sunburst Les Paul. Wanting one of his own, Allman offered to swap guitars with Stine. When Stine hesitated, Allman upped the stakes, throwing in $200 and one of his regular Marshall 50 heads. Stine agreed and the deal was finalized. It’s the same Cherry Sunburst that sold for $591,000 a few days prior to the sale of this guitar.

7 | $1,102,000 | 1964 Rose-Morris Rickenbacker Model 1996

Provenance: John Lennon, The Beatles

Auctioned by Julien's, 2015

This guitar was originally given to John Lennon by Rose-Morris, the official UK importer of Rickenbacker, when his 1964 Rickenbacker 325 was damaged during a Christmas performance. Lennon played this guitar for the remaining 1964 Christmas shows, and in 1968, Lennon gifted the guitar to Ringo Starr.

In 1968, when tensions were rising among the Beatles, Starr, briefly left his bandmates who were recording The Beatles aka the "White Album". When he returned, fresh with new material he had written, Lennon gave him the Rickenbacker. According to Beatles authority Andy Babiuk, Lennon thought the guitar would fit Starr well and wanted to encourage Starr to write more songs.

8 | $1,095,000 | 1969 C.F. Martin D-35

Provenance: Dave Gilmour, Pink Floyd albums

Auctioned by Christie's, 2019

This 1969 C.F. Martin D-35 was purchased by Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour from a musician was selling his guitar on the street outside Manny's Music in New York in 1971 and has been Gilmour's primary studio acoustic guitar since 1971. When asked by Sue Lawley on the BBC Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs what his luxury 'desert island' item would be, Gilmour responded: "Well to me it's not a luxury, it's an essential. I need to take my guitar with me, my acoustic Martin D-35 guitar, because life is impossible without a guitar."

It was purchased from a musician was selling his guitar on the street outside Manny's Music in New York in 1971. When asked by Guitar Player magazine in 2003 which of his guitars had the most songs attached to it, Gilmour replied,"I guess it would be my Martin D-35. I used it on Wish You Were Here, and I've been using it ever since."The D-35 can be heard on Welcome To The Machine, as well as the title track of Wish You Were Here, the tribute to former band member Syd Barrett. In The Story of Wish You Were Here, Gilmour reflected on his fondness for the song "because of its resonance and the emotional weight it carries, it is one of our best songs."

9 | $965,000 | 1964 Fender Stratocaster

When Bob Dylan took to the stage at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25, 1965, the three-song set the 24-year-old poet-singer-prodigy performed made news around the world. It was the first time Dylan had performed with an electric backing band, and it was, according to Rolling Stone magazine, "one of the most notable events in music history." This is the 1964 Fender Stratocaster Dylan used during that performance. It sold for $965,000 at a Christies auction on 6 December, 2013
When Bob Dylan took to the stage at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25, 1965, the three-song set the 24-year-old poet-singer-prodigy performed made news around the world. It was the first time Dylan had performed with an electric backing band, and it was, according to Rolling Stone magazine, "one of the most notable events in music history." This is the 1964 Fender Stratocaster Dylan used during that performance. It sold for $965,000 at a Christies auction on 6 December, 2013

Provenance: Bob Dylan's guitar used in his infamous "electric" performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival guitar

Auctioned by Christie's, 2013

When Bob Dylan took to the stage at the Newport Folk Festival on July 25, 1965, the three-song set the 24-year-old poet-singer-prodigy performed made news around the world. It was the first time Dylan had performed with an electric backing band, (made up of Mike Bloomfield and some members of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band) and it was, according to Rolling Stone magazine, "one of the most notable events in music history." It has been referred to as "the most written-about performance in the history of rock & roll," as it catalyzed a seismic shift in the direction of popular music.

This is the 1964 Fender Stratocaster Dylan used during that performance and it made headlines in 2012 when it was submitted to the PBS television program History Detectives for authentication, going on to be auctioned by Christies in New York on 6 December, 2013 and becoming the most expensive stage-used guitar to sell at auction.

The guitar was also used by Dylan at his first appearance with future members of The Band at Forest Hills, New York in the weeks after Newport, and during the 1965 recording sessions for his album Bringing It All Back Home.

The full auction description is worth a read for the back story, which included full-on fisticuffs between Dylan's manager, Albert Grossman, and festival board member (and staunch traditionalist) Alan Lomax and the comments of American folk legend and political activist Pete Seeger, "if I'd had an axe I'd cut the cable."

Four days after the festival, Dylan recorded the scathing Positively 4th Street in response to the folk fans who could not accept his growth, a song which went on to become one of his signature works.

10 | $959,500 | Fender Stratocaster Hybrid

"Blackie" is a hybrid made up from the best bits of several vintage stratocasters. The legend goes that one day Clapton wandered into a a guitar shop in Texas, buying six vintage Fender Stratocasters for $100 each. He gave one each to George Harrison (The Beatles), Pete Townshend (The Who), and Stevie Winwood (Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith) and constructed Blackie from the other three. Used both on stage and in the studio from the early seventies to the mid eighties by Eric Clapton. Blackie shared the stage with Carlos Santana, Freddy King, The Band, Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters to name a few. Clapton recorded numerous albums on Blackie, including "461 Ocean Boulevard," "Slowhand," "No Reason To Cry" and "Just One Night." It sold for $959,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
"Blackie" is a hybrid made up from the best bits of several vintage stratocasters. The legend goes that one day Clapton wandered into a a guitar shop in Texas, buying six vintage Fender Stratocasters for $100 each. He gave one each to George Harrison (The Beatles), Pete Townshend (The Who), and Stevie Winwood (Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith) and constructed Blackie from the other three. Used both on stage and in the studio from the early seventies to the mid eighties by Eric Clapton. Blackie shared the stage with Carlos Santana, Freddy King, The Band, Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters to name a few. Clapton recorded numerous albums on Blackie, including "461 Ocean Boulevard," "Slowhand," "No Reason To Cry" and "Just One Night." It sold for $959,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004

Provenance: Eric Clapton's "Blackie", Layla, Derek & the Dominoes, Used both on stage and in the studio from the early seventies to the mid eighties by Eric Clapton. Blackie shared the stage with Carlos Santana, Freddy King, The Band, Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters to name a few. Clapton recorded numerous albums on Blackie, including '61 Ocean Boulevard,' 'Slowhandowhand,' 'No Reason To Cry' and 'Just One Night.'

Auctioned by Christie's, 2004

Blackie is a hybrid made up from the best bits of several vintage stratocasters. The legend goes that one day Clapton wandered into a a guitar shop in Texas, buying six vintage Fender Stratocasters for $100 each. He gave one each to George Harrison (The Beatles), Pete Townshend (The Who), and Stevie Winwood (Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith) and constructed Blackie from the other three.

Clapton auctioned Blackie to raise money for his Crossroads Rehabilitation Center. Clapton was a heroin addict for many years and once he emerged at the end of the ordeal, he subsequently devoted a significant proportion of his wealth and influence to help the similarly addicted.

Blackie is special in many ways. Clapton told Dan Forte in a 1985 interview published in Guitar Player: "I feel that that guitar has become part of me. I get offered guitars and endorsements come along every now and then. [A guitar maker] tried to get me interested in a fairly revolutionary guitar. I tried it, and liked it, and played it on stage – liked it a lot. But while I was doing that, I was thinking 'Well, Blackie is back there. If I get into this guitar too deeply, it's tricky, because then I won't be able to go back to Blackie. And what will happen to that?' This all happens in my head while I'm actually playing [laughs]. I can be miles away thinking about this stuff, and suddenly I shut down and say, 'This is enough. No more. Nice new guitar. Sorry. You're very nice, but...' That's when I drag the old one back on, and suddenly it's just like jumping into a warm pool of water."

Clapton first played the guitar on stage at the Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, London on 13 January, 1973 at the concert organised by Pete Townshend and others to encourage Clapton's recovery from addiction.

11 | $957,500 | 1979 Doug Irwin "Tiger" Custom

Jerry Garcia’s Doug Irwin "Tiger," another custom guitar made by master luthier Doug Irwin. This was the primary guitar of Grateful Dead lead guitarist Jerry Garcia from 1979 to 1985. It was also the last guitar Garcia played publicly. It sold for $957,500 at a Guernseys auction on 8 May, 2002
Jerry Garcia’s Doug Irwin "Tiger," another custom guitar made by master luthier Doug Irwin. This was the primary guitar of Grateful Dead lead guitarist Jerry Garcia from 1979 to 1985. It was also the last guitar Garcia played publicly. It sold for $957,500 at a Guernseys auction on 8 May, 2002

Provenance: the primary guitar of Jerry Garcia from 1979 to 1985. The last guitar Garcia played publicly. Jerry Garcia Band, Grateful Dead

Auctioned by Guernseys, 2002

One of popular music's original "wild men," Jerry Garcia was the lead guitarist, lead singer and songwriter for the Grateful Dead for its entire 30 year performing career, which included an amazing 2,300 concerts, despite battling diabetes, cocaine addiction and heroin addiction. The Grateful Dead was ranked 57th in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artist's of all-time, while Garcia was ranked 46th in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of all-time, and his principal guitars were unique, having been crafted by Doug Irwin and Travis Bean.

Though Irwin built five guitars for Garcia, two guitars in particular were used for the majority of his work, being Tiger (his main guitar from 1979 to 1989) and Rosebud (his main guitar from 1990 to 1995). Due to a problem with Rosebud during the final Grateful Dead concert (July 9, 1995) before Garcia's death on August 9, 1995, Tiger was the last guitar Garcia played publicly. No doubt Deadheads already know of this wonderful resource on the Dead's instruments, but if you are a fan, you'll be delighted.

12 | $850,000 | 1984 Andy Beech Blue Cloud guitar

Provenance: Prince

Auctioned by Julien's, 2004

This Prince stage-used blue Cloud guitar was originally donated by Prince to an auction in 1994 to benefit Los Angeles Earthquake Relief. The guitar was used by Prince in the very late 1980s and early 1990s on stage, in the studio, and for publicity photoshoots. The guitar was sold accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Cloud guitar luthier Andy Beech stating that he made this guitar for Prince.

13 | $847,500 | 1964 Gibson ES-335 TDC

This 1964 Gibson ES-335 TDC hollow-body electric guitar was originally purchased by Clapton in 1964, and was used throughout his career, playing a role in the music of the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and his post-addiction solo career, becoming one of Slowhand's principal stage-used guitars during the nineties. It sold for $847,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
This 1964 Gibson ES-335 TDC hollow-body electric guitar was originally purchased by Clapton in 1964, and was used throughout his career, playing a role in the music of the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and his post-addiction solo career, becoming one of Slowhand's principal stage-used guitars during the nineties. It sold for $847,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004

Provenance: Originally purchased by Eric Clapton in 1964, this hollow-body electric guitar was used throughout his career, playing a role in the music of the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and his post-addiction solo career, becoming one of Slowhand's principal stage-used guitars during the nineties.

Auctioned by Christies, 2004

Fellow Yardbird Chris Dreja was photographed playing Clapton's 335 more often than Clapton in this early stage of Clapton's career. With Cream, Clapton was more frequently pictured with various Gibson Les Pauls, and the famous psychedelic Gibson SG, but he appears to have started using this ES-335 alongside a Gibson Firebird I during Cream's farewell tour in 1968. In December 1968, Clapton played this guitar on Badge and other tracks from the Goodbye album.

Clapton used this guitar extensively with Blind Faith in recording sessions and on stage during the Scandinavian and US Tours that followed. An inside cover photo of No Reason To Cry suggests that this ES-335 was present at the Shangri La Studio sessions in the spring of 1976. Clapton said in a 1989 interview that this guitar was also used on his 1989 rendition of Ray Charles' Hard Times released on the Journeyman album. According to Lee Dickson, this guitar was taken to practically all of Clapton's recording sessions from 1979 to 2004.

It returned to the stage as one of the key guitars used on the Nothing But Blues Tour when Clapton played on it the Freddy King numbers Someday After A While, I'm Tore Down and Have You Ever Loved A Woman. Clapton can be seen playing this guitar at Filmore West on the 8th and 9th of November, 1994, in the footage of a documentary film of the Nothing But Blues Tour, directed by Martin Scorsese.

It remained as a stage guitar, largely reserved for Freddy King numbers, until the summer of 1996. Again, it was captured in concert footage that year when Clapton used it on various TV shows, most notably the VH-1 Duets program with Dr. John at Roseland, New York on the 9th May, 1996. It was used at the Prince's Trust concert in London's Hyde Park on the 29th June, 1996, subsequently released on video as Eric Clapton – Live in Hyde Park, where it features on the cover.

Estimated to sell for between $60,000 and $80,000, the guitar smashed estimates to sell for $847,500 at the famous Crossroads Guitar Auction held by Christies on 24 June 2004 at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York.

14 | $791,500 | 1939 Martin OOO-42

This 1939 Martin OOO-42 was the main instrument used in Eric Clapton's "MTV Unplugged" appearance, one of the pivotal moments in his career. Clapton is pictured playing this guitar on the CD cover of the multi-million seller "Unplugged" album, and it was used to play the acoustic version of "Layla," "Before You Accuse Me" and "Old Love," as well as early versions of "My Father's Eyes" and "Lonely Stranger." It sold for $791,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
This 1939 Martin OOO-42 was the main instrument used in Eric Clapton's "MTV Unplugged" appearance, one of the pivotal moments in his career. Clapton is pictured playing this guitar on the CD cover of the multi-million seller "Unplugged" album, and it was used to play the acoustic version of "Layla," "Before You Accuse Me" and "Old Love," as well as early versions of "My Father's Eyes" and "Lonely Stranger." It sold for $791,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004

Provenance: The main instrument used in Eric Clapton's 'MTV Unplugged' appearance, one of the pivotal moments in his career. Clapton is pictured playing this guitar on the CD cover of the multi-million seller Unplugged album, and it was used to play the acoustic version of 'Layla', 'Before You Accuse Me' and 'Old Love', as well as early versions of 'My Father's Eyes' and 'Lonely Stranger.'

Auctioned by Christies, 2004

This guitar first appeared on stage at the first of the Blues only seasons at the Royal Albert Hall in February/March 1993, used in the opening acoustic segments of the show for pre-war Blues covers such as Alabama Women, How Long Blues and Four Until Late. It went on to serve as Clapton's main stage acoustic guitar between 1993 and 1995, mostly used in the opening acoustic segments of the Blues concerts for numbers such as Malted Milk.

When Martin was developing its first Eric Clapton signature model 000-42EC, Eric Clapton requested that the construction of that guitar should be based on the structure of this guitar. A Martin publicity photograph at the time shows Clapton holding this guitar in one hand, and the new signature model in the other.

Although Clapton Signature Martin guitars with built-in pickups began to be used for larger concert venues from 1996 onward, this guitar remained as the main stage acoustic guitar through the 1997 Far Eastern Tour and the first leg of the Pilgrim US Tour in 1998.

15 | $657,000 | 1962 Rickenbacker 425

This 1962 Rickenbacker 425 was used during the Beatles' live performances of "Twist And Shout," "I’ll Get You" and "She Loves You" on the British pop TV show, Ready Steady Go!, the recording on October 17, 1963 of the band's fifth single, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and reverse side of the single, "This Boy." Also used during the October 1963 tour of Sweden and subsequently has been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland), John Lennon Museum (Japan), Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix) and the Grammy Museum's Beatles Exhibition (New York). It sold for $657,000 at a Julien's auction on 17 May 17, 2014
This 1962 Rickenbacker 425 was used during the Beatles' live performances of "Twist And Shout," "I’ll Get You" and "She Loves You" on the British pop TV show, Ready Steady Go!, the recording on October 17, 1963 of the band's fifth single, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and reverse side of the single, "This Boy." Also used during the October 1963 tour of Sweden and subsequently has been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland), John Lennon Museum (Japan), Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix) and the Grammy Museum's Beatles Exhibition (New York). It sold for $657,000 at a Julien's auction on 17 May 17, 2014

Provenance: John Lennon, George Harrison, The Beatles. Used during the Beatles' live performances of 'Twist And Shout', 'I'll Get You' and 'She Loves You' on the British pop TV show, Ready Steady Go!, the recording on October 17, 1963 of the band's fifth single, 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' and reverse side of the single, 'This Boy'. Also used during the October 1963 tour of Sweden and subsequently has been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland), John Lennon Museum (Japan), Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix) and the Grammy Museum's Beatles Exhibition (New York).

Auctioned by Julien's, 2014

This 1962 Rickenbacker 425, serial number BH 439, was purchased by George Harrison in September 1963 at Red Fenton's Music Store in Mount Vernon, Illinois, while on a two-week visit to see his sister, Louise. Beatlemania was just beginning and Harrison met a few other young musicians during his stay and told them about his interest in buying a Rickenbacker. Harrison looked at Fenton's selection and chose the guitar he liked, but it wasn't available in his preferred black (to match Lennon's black Rickenbacker).

The guitar was refinished in black and on his return to the United Kingdom, he used it during The Beatles' first appearance on the television program Ready Steady Go! on October 4, 1963, and on the program Thank Your Lucky Stars in December 1963.

Harrison used the guitar during the Beatles' October 1963 week-long tour of Sweden, the first overseas gig for the band since their early days in Hamburg. He interchangeably used his Country Gentleman and the 425. Harrison was photographed with the guitar extensively on this tour, and the entire band was photographed posing with the guitar as well. This is purported to be the only known photograph in existence of all four Beatles holding a single guitar.

Harrison played this guitar as The Beatles recorded I Want to Hold Your Hand at Abbey Road Studios. This song, The Beatles' fifth single, gave the band its break in the US market. The same session produced the recording of This Boy.

John Lennon also played the guitar backstage at a performance in Glasgow, Scotland, on October 5, 1963. A photograph published in an August 1964 Beat Monthly magazine shows Lennon with this guitar.

In the late 1960s or early 1970s, Harrison gave the guitar to George Peckham, who had a long association with Apple and especially George Harrison in multiple roles, including cutting engineer at Apple. Peckham had borrowed a guitar from Harrison for his appearance on Top of the Pops, as a rhythm guitarist in the band The Fourmost. When he went to return the guitar, Harrison gave it to him, saying that it was a "great rhythm player."

Prior to Packham receiving the guitar it was modified from its original state with an additional pick up added. Peckham kept the guitar in the condition he received it with no further modifications. The guitar case sold with the guitar was given to Peckham by Slade band member Noddy Holder, as Peckham was carrying it around without a case. Holder said he couldn't bear to see a Beatles guitar carried around without a case.

George Harrison's 1962 Rickenbacker 425 guitar eventually sold for $742,000 (including buyer's premium) during fast and furious bidding from at the Julien's auction at Hard Rock Café New York on Saturday, May 17, 2014

16 | $623,500 | 1963/1964 Fender Stratocaster

This Fender Stratocaster was given to blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan by his wife, Lenny, in 1980 as a 26th birthday present. It sold for $623,500 at a Christies auctioned on 24 June, 2004
This Fender Stratocaster was given to blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan by his wife, Lenny, in 1980 as a 26th birthday present. It sold for $623,500 at a Christies auctioned on 24 June, 2004

Provenance: Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan received this instrument from his wife, Lenny, in 1980 as a 26th birthday present.

Auctioned by Christies, 2004

Stevie Ray Vaughan first saw "Lenny" in an Austin, Texas, pawn shop. He loved it but didn't have the $350 that was on the price tag. His first wife, who he named the guitar after, did a "whip-round" and got some of Vaughan's friends to put in $50 each and bought the guitar for Vaughan's birthday. They presented to him on October 3, 1980, at Steamboat Springs – a nightclub he often played at.

He replaced the neck with the mid-'50s-style maple neck given to him by Billy Gibbons. He kept the tremolo arm, pickups and frets in their original condition, but added his signature and the SRV initials, which were a trademark of the majority of Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitars, on the neck plate and pick guard.

The guitar has Mickey Mantle's autograph on the back of the body. Mantle signed it on April 10, 1985, when Vaughan was invited to play the national anthem at the Houston Astros season opener at the Houston Astrodome.

Stevie recorded with this guitar on many of his love songs, including Riviera Paradise, and of course Lenny, and it was used on stage whenever he played Riviera Paradise live.

Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash in 1990.

The guitar was put up for auction at the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival on June 24, 2004 and it was sold to Guitar Center for $623,500.

All of Stevie Ray Vaughan's personal guitars are held by the Stevie Ray Vaughan Estate. This is the only known one to ever have been released.

17 | $615,203 | 1950s Rex acoustic

Screen clip from Cooper Owen Music Media Auctions showing Paul McCartney with the guitar that started him on the path to becoming the most successful recording artist of all-time. This Rex acoustic was the first guitar Paul McCartney ever held. It was also the guitar on which he learned his first chords. It sold for $615,203 (£330,000) at a Cooper Owen auction on 28 July, 2006
Screen clip from Cooper Owen Music Media Auctions showing Paul McCartney with the guitar that started him on the path to becoming the most successful recording artist of all-time. This Rex acoustic was the first guitar Paul McCartney ever held. It was also the guitar on which he learned his first chords. It sold for $615,203 (£330,000) at a Cooper Owen auction on 28 July, 2006

Provenance: Paul McCartney's first guitar. In a letter signed by Paul McCartney, he says, “This was the first guitar I ever held. It was also the guitar on which I learned my first chords.”

Auctioned by Cooper Owen, 2006

McCartney bought the guitar from a school mate, Ian James, who he credits with teaching how to play the guitar, and, as Ian James put the guitar up for auction, McCartney must have given it back to him at some stage in its life. It is the same guitar that he used to woo John Lennon with a few of the chords that Ian James had taught him, and so gained entry into John Lennon's band The Quarrymen in 1957.

The £330,000 (US$615,203) final sale price was three times the pre-auction valuation and was bought by Craig Jackson, the owner of elite American Collectible car auction house, Barrett-Jackson.

18 | $615,000 | 1984 Fender Stratocaster 57V

Provenance: replaced "Black Strat" as Dave Gilmour's principal guitar for twenty years

Auctioned by Christie's, 2019

Acquired in 1984, this Candy Apple Red 57V Stratocaster became Gilmour's primary studio recording and performance guitar from 1988 to 2005. In a 1985 interview with John Stix for Guitar for the Practicing Musician, Gilmour enthused, "the new Fender Vintage Series guitar I bought is probably as good as any Fender I own, old or new."

Gilmour played it on Paul McCartney's Give My Regards to Broad Street album and it did the guitar solo on “No More Lonely Nights”. It made its first stage appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985 when Gilmour's sunburst 57V Stratocaster (sold for $187,500 further down this list) failed during the first song of a set with Bryan Ferry on vocals, and Gilmour on guitar. He hot swapped to this guitar for the remainder of “Sensation”, “Boys and Girls”, “Slave to Love” and a rendition of John Lennon's “Jealous Guy”.

19 | $611,000 | 1958 Gibson Explorer

One of the few guitars in this list not previously owned by a legendary guitar player, gaining its value through scarcity. Less than 50 were made because no-one wanted them in 1958 when the Gibson catalogue listed them at $247.50, the same price as a Les Paul Standard. The model was discontinued in the early sixties. It sold for $611,000 at a Skinner auction on 15 October, 2006
One of the few guitars in this list not previously owned by a legendary guitar player, gaining its value through scarcity. Less than 50 were made because no-one wanted them in 1958 when the Gibson catalogue listed them at $247.50, the same price as a Les Paul Standard. The model was discontinued in the early sixties. It sold for $611,000 at a Skinner auction on 15 October, 2006

Provenance: no provenance of note, just a fine specimen of a landmark guitar produced in very limited quantities (less than 50)

Auctioned by Skinner, 2006

This is one of the few guitars in this list not previously owned by a legendary guitar player, gaining its value through scarcity and desirability. Less than 50 were made because no-one wanted them in 1958 when the Gibson catalog listed them at $247.50, the same price as a Les Paul Standard.

The model was discontinued in the early sixties, being referred to by Gibson historian Walter Carter as, "a commercial disaster", though it were reissued again in the 1970s when the radical styling was better received. Then, the fortunes of the re-issued Explorer rose somewhat when 17-year-old David Howell Evans went into Manny's Music store in NYC in 1976, looking to buy a Gibson Les Paul or a Rickenbacker, but settling instead on a Gibson Explorer."

“It just spoke to me. I knew that using this guitar could get an odd reaction as no-one was playing them back then", said Evans. "It's an odd-looking thing. But it sounded just right for me, it had 'my sound' in it," adding, "and it was only $450.”

Evans added an E-H Memory Man pedal, and his newly-formed band suddenly had "that sound." Evans (we now know him as The Edge) and his band (U2) released “Out Of Control” on their first EP soon after.

The Explorer has endured in U2's music and followed the band into the heads of music lovers worldwide. Only 38 of the original series are known to still exist and the list of people who now own them is a who's who of collectors and serious musicians.

Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick has two 1958 Explorers and in Guitar Aficianado he wrote: "I bought the cleaner of the two Explorers in the late Seventies for $4,000 ... that may seem like the deal of the century, ... but at the time I bought this Explorer, Sixties Strats were worth only about $750, and Bursts were going for $2,000. Under the circumstances, that was a hell of a lot of money to spend on a single guitar."

Numerous other big names have since used either the original or re-issued Explorer to great effect, including the late Gary Moore, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Brendon Small (Dethklok) and his alter-ego Skwisgaar Skwigelf, James Hatfield (Metallica), Allen Collins (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Matthias Jabs (Scorpions). This Explorer was purchased as a gift in 1963 at the original list price of $247.50, and was virtually untouched until it was sold on October 15, 2006 for $611,000 at Skinner Auctions in Boston.

eq20 | $598,000 | 1966 Red Fender Mustang

This 1966 Red Fender Mustang was used by Hendrix on his 1966 album "Axis: Bold as Love" and his 1967 album "Electric Ladyland." It sold for $490,000 at a Juliens auction on 27 April, 2007
This 1966 Red Fender Mustang was used by Hendrix on his 1966 album "Axis: Bold as Love" and his 1967 album "Electric Ladyland." It sold for $490,000 at a Juliens auction on 27 April, 2007

Provenance: Jimi Hendrix, “Axis: Bold as Love” (1966), “If 6 Was 9” and “Electric Ladyland”, “All along the watchtower”

Auctioned by Juliens, 2007

With few exceptions, Hendrix played right-handed guitars that were turned upside down and restrung for left-hand playing. This had an important effect on the sound of his guitar; because of the slant of the bridge pickup, his lowest string had a brighter sound while his highest string had a darker sound, which was the opposite of the Stratocaster's intended design.

eq20 | $598,000 | 1965 Fender Telecaster

Provenance: Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, The Band

Auctioned by Julien's, 2018

This 1965 Fender Telecaster has been around, and has kept some fine company along the way. It is often referred to as Bob Dylan's guitar, but if it's possible, this guitar's curriculum vitae includes Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Levon Helm, and Robbie Robertson from The Band. Robertson used it to record “Across the Great Divide”, “Up on Cripple Creek”, and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Robertson also played this guitar at some of the legendary musical events of our time, including the Isle of Wight, Woodstock, Festival Express, and at Watkins Glen during a concert which set a Guinness World Record for attendance.

eq 20 | $598,000 | 1963 Maton Mastersound MS500

This 1963 Maton Mastersound MS500 was played by George Harrison during the summer of 1963 while his Gretsch Country Gentleman was being repaired. It was borrowed from Barratts Music Store in Manchester England. It sold for $485,000 at a Juliens auction on 15 May, 2015
This 1963 Maton Mastersound MS500 was played by George Harrison during the summer of 1963 while his Gretsch Country Gentleman was being repaired. It was borrowed from Barratts Music Store in Manchester England. It sold for $485,000 at a Juliens auction on 15 May, 2015

Provenance: George Harrison, The Beatles

Auctioned by Juliens, 2015
George Harrison played this Australian-made guitar during the summer of 1963 while his Gretsch Country Gentleman was being repaired, though he never actually owned it. The guitar was borrowed from Barratts Music Store in Manchester England and he liked it so much he kept it for July and August 1963 when Beatlemania was taking off in England. One of those gigs was a four concert date on the Jersey Islands in the English Channel and the band's payment for those four concerts was £1,000 (approx. $1,600). The incongruity of it: today a Beatles concert poster from The Channel Islands concerts, in decent condition, could now bring £5,000 or more.This guitar was again auctioned in 2018, fetching £347,200 ($452,357 including buyers' premium) at Gardiner Houlgate Auctions.

23 | $591,000 | 1961/1962 Cherry Gibson SG

Duane Allman's 1961/1962 Cherry Gibson SG fetched $591,000 at Heritage Auctions on July 20, 2019
Duane Allman's 1961/1962 Cherry Gibson SG fetched $591,000 at Heritage Auctions on July 20, 2019

Provenance: Duanne Allman, Allman Brothers Band

Auctioned by Heritage Auctions, 2019

24 | $567,500 | 1964 Gibson SG

This 1964 Gibson SG was used by The Beatles between 1966 and 1969. George Harrison used it when recording and touring for the album "Revolver." It was used by Harrison in the "Paperback Writer" and "Rain" clips in 1966 and by John Lennon during the "White Album" sessions in 1969. Subsequently owned by Pete Ham of Badfinger and on display for many years at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio. It sold for $567,500 at a Christies auction on 17 December, 2004
This 1964 Gibson SG was used by The Beatles between 1966 and 1969. George Harrison used it when recording and touring for the album "Revolver." It was used by Harrison in the "Paperback Writer" and "Rain" clips in 1966 and by John Lennon during the "White Album" sessions in 1969. Subsequently owned by Pete Ham of Badfinger and on display for many years at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio. It sold for $567,500 at a Christies auction on 17 December, 2004

Provenance: John Lennon, George Harrison, The Beatles

Auctioned by Christies, 2004

Played by George Harrison from 1966 through 1969 during various Beatles appearances and recording sessions which include the last official United Kingdom concert at the NME Poll Winners Concert and during the Revolver recording session. It was also used by Harrison in two Beatles films used to promote Paperback Writer and Rain in 1966 and later played by John Lennon during the White Album sessions in 1969.Also present is a 39 page custom binder which includes excellent documentation, featuring several reproduction images of Harrison playing the guitar with The Beatles as well as documentation from the book Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments, from Stage to Studio (Andy Babiuk) and two letters verifying the guitar's authenticity

The guitar was sold with documents of the guitars subsequent owner, Pete Ham of Badfinger, to whom Harrison bestowed the guitar in 1969. In 2002, the guitar was loaned to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio where it was on display until the 2004 auction.

25 | $560,000 | 1965 Fender Stratocaster

The promotional poster for the famous gig (no image available of the guitar)
The promotional poster for the famous gig (no image available of the guitar)

Provenance: Jimi Hendrix "burned" guitar

Auctioned by Fame Bureau, 2008

Provenance: The guitar which Jimi Hendrix set alight using lighter fluid on stage at London's Finsbury Astoria on March 31, 1967.

Jimi Hendrix became known for burning his guitars, though in fact, he only ever burned two guitars, and this 1965 Fender Stratocaster was the first guitar that Jimi sacrificed at the Finsbury Astoria in North London in 1967. Tony Garland, a press officer for Hendrix, cleared up the remains of the guitar and stored it in his parents garage in Hove. And there it sat for nearly 40 years until 2007 when Garland's nephew unearthed it.

The American collector who bought the guitar, Daniel Boucher, said: "I thought I'd have to pay a little bit more for it, actually ... it changed music, he raised the bar so high you couldn't get over it. Obviously it is an investment, it couldn't not be an investment for that amount of money, but I bought it because I like it. "The actual price this guitar sold for was reported at the time by newspapers as having sold for £280,000 (which calculates to US$495,269 based on the exchange rate on the day of the sale), though Fame Bureau reports on its web page that it sold for "in excess of $560,000" which would include the traditional buyer's premium (newspapers often ignore this aspect in reporting the price). Hence we've listed the guitar at $560,000. The book Jimi Hendrix Gear reported claims that the guitar might not be the original due to inconsistencies between the guitar in videos and images of that performance and the guitar which sold.

26 | $554,500 | 1930 Martin OM-45 Deluxe

This 1930 Martin OM-45 Deluxe was the companion guitar to actor Roy Rogers across 100 movies and a thousand recording sessions, from 1933 to his death in 1998. It sold for $554,500 at a Christies auction on 3 April, 2009
This 1930 Martin OM-45 Deluxe was the companion guitar to actor Roy Rogers across 100 movies and a thousand recording sessions, from 1933 to his death in 1998. It sold for $554,500 at a Christies auction on 3 April, 2009

Provenance: The companion guitar to actor Roy Rogers across 100 films and a thousand recording sessions, from 1933 to his death in 1998.

Auctioned by Christies, 2009

In the 1930s, gripped by the "great depression," America needed heroes. Heroes are larger than life and heroes give hope. It got two. Roy Rogers, "The King Of The Cowboys," and his Martin OM-45 Deluxe guitar.

Rogers was, for those of you who do remember, one of the most influential performers in American history. The official Christies video for the guitar is really worth watching as it tells the story of a very successful and respected musician who fell into acting and became one of the most prolific and loved actors of all-time with over 100 movies to his credit.

The Roy Rogers Show show ran for nine years on radio before becoming a smash hit on television from 1951 through 1957.

If there is a "royalty" among guitars then, surely, the OM-45 Deluxe is it. There were only 15 made, all in 1930, and this example was the first. The pearl inlayed floral pick guard, the pearl inlayed bridge and the gold plated tuners with pearl buttons, resembling more of a banjo tuner than a traditional guitar tuner, are among the features that differentiate, even in today's models, the OM-45 Deluxe from the standard OM-45.

It was shipped in 1930, by Frank Henry Martin, to a San Francisco retail store. Retail cost- $225. By 1933 it was in the possession of one Leonard Franklin Slye, later to be known as Roy Rogers, when he bought it for $30 – from a pawn shop. He used it for most of his recording and film work. It remained with him until his death in 1998.

It has hence been subjected to hundreds of minutes of exposure alongside the matinee idol. The Roy Rogers owned OM (Orchestra Model)-45 Deluxe is considered among many collectors as the rarest and most coveted Gibson guitar ever made.

27 | $531,000 | 1971 C.F. Martin D12-35

This 1969 C.F. Martin D-35 was purchased from a musician was selling his guitar on the street outside Manny's Music in New York in 1971 and became Dave Gilmour's primary studio acoustic guitar since 1971
This 1969 C.F. Martin D-35 was purchased from a musician was selling his guitar on the street outside Manny's Music in New York in 1971 and became Dave Gilmour's primary studio acoustic guitar since 1971

Provenance: David Gilmour, Pink Floyd. This guitar served as David Gilmour's chief 12-string studio acoustic for over forty years.

Auctioned by Christie's, 2019

Dave Gilmour: "It wasn't my first 12-string. I had a 12-string when I was a teenager and some of those instruments, you know, what happened to them is murky. I didn't have the funds to just buy another one, so they would often just be sold in order to buy something else, but I did have a 12-string. I always loved the 12-string, I used to listen to Lead Belly a lot, who was a great 12-string player, and there was another guy called Erik Darling who played a 12-string and I learnt some of his stuff. He was an American folk singing guy and he had an album that I was very, very fond of back in those days. He then joined, or formed, a little trio called the Rooftop Singers and had a big hit called “Walk Right In”, featuring a 12-string. So I always wanted to get another 12-string and I knew a guy who had a Martin 12-string and he wanted to get rid of it. I liked it, I bought it. It gave me “Wish You Were Here”, which was very generous of it."

Playing around with his new guitar at London's Abbey Road Studios during the making of Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here between January and July 1975, Gilmour hit upon the notes that would become the enduring title track to the album. When asked by Paul Rappaport in September 2011 how he made the music for “Wish You Were Here”, Gilmour explained: "I had recently bought a Martin 12 string from someone I knew and I was strumming it in the control room at No.3 at Abbey Road and that just started coming out, that riff …I started mildly obsessing with this riff that was slowly developing and, again, people's ears – Roger's [Waters] ears – pricked up."

Reflecting on the final recording, Gilmour continued, "every time I listen to the actual original recording I think God I should have really done that a little bit better, but the idea was that it was like a guitar playing on the radio and someone in their room at home …listening to it and joining in, so the other guitar was kind of supposed to be a kid at home joining in with the guitar he's listening to on the radio, and therefore it wasn't supposed to be too slick… and it wasn't."

XX | $530,000 | Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins

TracksAuction.com John Lennon Gretsch Guitar

Provenance: John Lennon, The Beatles, "Paperback Writer"

Private sale - unconfirmed

This Gretsch 6120 was used by John Lennon during the recording of the Beatles 'Paperback Writer.' The guitar was purchased by guitar collector and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay in March 2015 by negotiation after the guitar failed to meet it's reserve price at auction.

This Gretsch 6120 was given by John Lennon to his cousin, David Birch, in 1967 and when Birch took it to a Tracks auction in November 2014, it failed to reach its $600,000 reserve. Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, already the owner of some 175 guitars, including Les Paul's 1954 black Custom guitar "Black Beauty", Jerry Garcia's "Tiger" and Bob Dylan's "Dylan Goes Electric" Fender Stratocaster, negotiated a private sale with Birch, in March 2015 for $530,000. Hence the lack of an official number on the list – this is a list of auction results only.

28 | $526,000 | 1958 Hofner Club 40

George Harrison's first electric guitar was this Hofner Club 40
George Harrison's first electric guitar was this Hofner Club 40

Provenance: George Harrison's first electric guitar

Auctioned by Julien's, 2019

In the very early days of The Beatles, when they performed around Liverpool as The Quarrymen, the group had been transitioning from a skiffle band using acoustic instruments to a rock and roll band using electric instruments and John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison all made the switch to electric guitar.

Lennon and Harrison were the first, purchasing near identical Hofner Club 40 models. Lennon later recalled in an early 1960s interview: " … both George and I saw a Hofner Club 40 and we both thought it was the end." Lennon got his at Hessy's Music Shop in Liverpool on August 28, 1959, when his Aunt Mimi put £17 down as a deposit on Lennon's first electric guitar.Harrison traded his big Hofner President model acoustic archtop jazz guitar with aftermarket pickups installed for a Hofner Club 40, his first electric guitar.

Harrison later remembered of his first Hofner acoustic Jazz guitar, "I got what they call a cello-style, f-hole, single-cutaway called a Hofner, which is like the German version of a Gibson. I got a pickup and stuck it on." Harrison continued, "I soon got fed up with it and did a straight swap for a Club 40. I thought it was the most fantastic guitar ever." Harrison said he swapped his Hofner President with a member of The Swinging Blue Jeans to acquire his Club 40.

Ray Ennis of that band remembers the trade: "The Club 40 that George got was originally mine," Ennis confirmed. "We had our residency on Tuesdays at the Cavern, and I remember we did the swap there. I swapped it for his acoustic Hofner, which was sunburst, with f-holes. I haven't got it now – because at the time, who thought The Beatles would be so famous? In those early days we used to get fed up with guitars very quickly, so we'd swap and change a lot."

29 | $524,075 | 1955 Fender Stratocaster

What does a rock star's favourite guitar look like? Garcia's "Alligator" looks like this
What does a rock star's favourite guitar look like? Garcia's "Alligator" looks like this

Provenance: Jerry Garcia's "Alligator", Grateful Dead

Auctioned by Bonhams, 2019

Jerry Garcia played “Alligator” in numerous live performances, notably on the Grateful Dead's 1972 European tour. Highlights from that tour were released on the live triple album Europe 72. The Grateful Dead also released some of their finest studio albums during this period, including Working Man's Dead and American Beauty.
Alligator was given to Garcia in 1970 by music legend Graham Nash. Nash headed pioneer British pop group The Hollies from 1962 until 1968 when he moved to America to form the definitive supergroup, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Nash gave the guitar to Garcia in appreciation of Garcia's guitar work on Nash's solo album Songs For Beginners, where Garcia played pedal steel guitar on “I Used to Be a King” and “Man in the Mirror”.

30 | $511,600 | 1966 custom Vox Kensington guitar

This 1966 custom Vox Kensington guitar was custom-made in 1966 and presented to the group in 1967 while they were working on the "Magical Mystery Tour" album. Harrison only practiced "I Am The Walrus" on this guitar but Lennon used it while recording the video of "Hello, Goodbye." It sold for $418,000 at a Juliens auction on 18 May, 2013
This 1966 custom Vox Kensington guitar was custom-made in 1966 and presented to the group in 1967 while they were working on the "Magical Mystery Tour" album. Harrison only practiced "I Am The Walrus" on this guitar but Lennon used it while recording the video of "Hello, Goodbye." It sold for $418,000 at a Juliens auction on 18 May, 2013

Provenance: John Lennon, George Harrison, The Beatles

Auctioned by Julien's, 2013

This guitar has a special place in Beatles history, having been played by both John Lennon and George Harrison. It was custom-made in 1966 and presented to the group in 1967 while they were working on the Magical Mystery Tour album. Harrison only practiced “I Am The Walrus” on this guitar, but Lennon used it while recording the video of “Hello, Goodbye.”
Lennon gave the guitar to his pal "Magic Alex" Mardas, who the Beatles had hired to design the Apple Studio in Savile Row, on Mardas' 25th birthday. Lennon even attached a plaque to the back of the guitar declaring his friendship. Magic Alex was one of Lennon's closest friends from 1966 to 1969, with John standing as best man at his wedding in May 1968.
Mardas sold the guitar at a Christies auction in 2004 for £117,250 ($210,347) and it again went to auction in 2013 when it brought in considerably more than its pre-sale estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. The guitar features a scroll design, a hollow body, a single f-hole and a 24-fret rosewood fret board with rectangular inlays.

31 | $497,500 | 1956 Fender Stratocaster

Eric Clapton’s "Brownie" Fender Stratocaster. Purchased second-hand for $300 by Clapton, this guitar played many of those famous chords and riffs from his Cream days in 1967, all the way through to being back-up for Blackie until Derek and the Dominoes. Brownie was used by Clapton in the recording of Layla on August 26, 1970, with the chemistry between Duane Allman's 1957 Gibson Les Paul and the haunting Strat providing one of the most famous guitar interplays of all-time. It sold for $497,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 1999
Eric Clapton’s "Brownie" Fender Stratocaster. Purchased second-hand for $300 by Clapton, this guitar played many of those famous chords and riffs from his Cream days in 1967, all the way through to being back-up for Blackie until Derek and the Dominoes. Brownie was used by Clapton in the recording of Layla on August 26, 1970, with the chemistry between Duane Allman's 1957 Gibson Les Paul and the haunting Strat providing one of the most famous guitar interplays of all-time. It sold for $497,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 1999

Provenance: Eric Clapton's "Brownie", from Cream until Derek & The Dominoes

Auctioned by Christie's, 1999

Provenance: Purchased for $300 second-hand by Clapton, this guitar played many of those famous chords and riffs from his Cream days in 1967, all the way through to being back-up for Blackie, until Derek and the Dominoes. This was the guitar on which Layla was recorded

Bought by Eric Clapton in 1967, when touring with Cream, as a "working guitar" – one that could take the knocks and the bangs of being played, hard, every night on tour. He bought it second hand for $300. Clapton believed that the more use that was shown in the neck of a guitar the better it played and he bought many of his guitars at pawn shops and second hand shops for that very reason.

In 1969, while playing at the Blind Faith concert in Hyde Park, he removed Brownies' neck and attached it to a Fender Custom Telecaster. He used Brownie on his debut album, Clapton, considered by many to be his best album ever, extensively during the early 70s, and when playing with Derek and the Dominos and on the album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.

Brownie was used by Clapton in the recording of Layla on August 26, 1970, with the chemistry between Duane Allman's 1957 Gibson Les Paul and the haunting Strat providing one of the most famous guitar interplays of all-time.

Brownie became Clapton's back-up guitar after he sourced and fell in love with "Blackie" (above in this list).

Fender Custom Eric Clapton "Brownie" Tribute Stratocaster | Fender

In 2013, Fender Custom Shop created a limited edition (100 only) tribute replica of this guitar which is featured in the above video. The Brownie replica sold for $15,000.

32 | $495,000 | 1957 Fender Stratocaster

Provenance: Homer Haynes, Dave Gilmour, Pink Floyd

Auctioned by Christies, 2019

According to George Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars, this guitar was custom made for country and jazz guitarist Henry D. "Homer" Haynes. As well as working as a session musician, Haynes was half of a successful duo named Homer and Jethro. Following Haynes' death in 1971, the instrument found its way into the possession of the California guitar dealer Frank Lucido, who included the rare guitar in a Stratocaster exhibition where it received a "best in show" blue ribbon award. In September 1979, Lucido sold the instrument to Gilmour's guitar technician, Phil Taylor, who sold it to Gilmour in 1983. It was then used in the promotion Gilmour's 1984 solo album About Face, with a shot of Gilmour with the guitar featured in the official program for the tour.

33 | $455,500 | 1996 50th Anniversary Fender Stratocaster

This strat was ordered by Eric Clapton in 1996, at the time of the 50th anniversary of Fender. Clapton wanted something that could hang in a museum, so the company made him a custom Stratocaster plated with 23 carat gold. It sold for $455,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004
This strat was ordered by Eric Clapton in 1996, at the time of the 50th anniversary of Fender. Clapton wanted something that could hang in a museum, so the company made him a custom Stratocaster plated with 23 carat gold. It sold for $455,500 at a Christies auction on 24 June, 2004

Provenance: Master Built Eric Clapton Signature Model owned and played by Clapton 1997-2004

Auctioned by Christie's, 2004

Fender's original Gold Leaf guitar was a custom order for Eric Clapton at the time of Fender's 50th Anniversary in 1996. It was hand crated by Mark Kendrick and John Luis Campo, Fender's Master Builders and plated with 23 carat gold. Clapton used the guitar in 1997 during his Far-Eastern tour, at the European Legends jazz concerts and at the 1997 Music For Montserrat concert in the Royal Albert Hall.

34 | $452,357 | 1963 Maton Mastersound MS-500

This 1963 Maton Mastersound MS-500 was used by George Harrison in the Beatle's last performance at the Cavern Club
This 1963 Maton Mastersound MS-500 was used by George Harrison in the Beatle's last performance at the Cavern Club

Provenance: George Harrison, The Beatles, The Beatles last performance at The Cavern Club

Auctioned by Gardiner Houlgate, 2018

In the summer of 1963, George Harrison’s Gretsch Country Gentleman was experiencing problems and was taken to Barratts in Manchester to be repaired. Whilst repairs were made, shop owner Brian Higham gave the Maton to Neil Aspinall for Harrison to use. The Country Gent was quickly repaired and Higham returned it the same evening. It is thought that this was on 3rd July, when The Beatles appeared at The Playhouse Theatre in Manchester. Harrison liked the Maton and Higham agreed to let him keep it for while. Photographic evidence confirms that Harrison played the Maton in concert on the 8th-13th July at The Winter Gardens in Margate, 2nd August at The Grafton Rooms in Liverpool, 3rd August at a photo call at The Cavern Club in Liverpool (significantly, The Beatles last performance at The Cavern Club) and 6th-10th August at Candie Gardens, Guernsey.

eq 35 | $447,000 | 1955 Gibson Les Paul Custom

Provenance: used in guitar solo on "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" from "The Wall" (1979)

Auctioned by Christie's, 2019

David Gilmour purchased this 1955 "All Gold" Les Paul from Dave DeForrest at Guitar Trader, Red Bank, New Jersey in 1978. Gilmour used it for the famous guitar solo on Pink Floyd's hit single "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" from their 1979 album The Wall which became Pink Floyd's first number one single in both the UK and US.

The guitar also contributed to the recording of "Another Brick In The Wall (Part 3)" and in the live shows in support of the album. Gilmour later used this Les Paul during recording of the song Round and Around on Pink Floyd's 1987 album A Momentary Lapse of Reason and for his solos on "Poles Apart" and "A Great Day For Freedom" on 1994's The Division Bell, with the solo in the latter almost two minutes long. The guitar next appeared on stage at an evening of Beatles music at Cowdray Park in West Sussex on 21st June 2002 in aid of the White Lotus School, Ladakh and the Tibet House Fund. Gilmour played the first of his two sets on the Goldtop alongside Genesis' Mike Rutherford on bass and Bob Geldof on lead vocals for a medley of early Beatles numbers including "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "Please Please Me", and "Love Me Do". Gilmour also used the 1955 Les Paul during the early recording sessions for what would become his 2006 solo album On An Island.

eq 35 | $447,000 | 1958 Gretsch White Penguin

Provenance: David Gilmour's Gretsch White Penguin

Auctioned by Christie's, 2019

The Gretsch White Penguin is a solid-body Falcon and one of the rarest and most collectable American vintage guitars with a total output of around 50 guitars. David Gilmour had wanted a Gretsch White Penguin for some time, and this guitar was purchased for Gilmour's collection in July 1980 and kept for home and studio use.

Gilmour told Christie's, "at some point I heard there was a sister or brother guitar to the White Falcon and set around to find one of those. It's a lovely instrument with something all of its own. These guitars can be so similar, same make, but they sing out in a different way. I've played it a lot, it's a lovely, lovely thing."

37 | $434,750 | 1968 Rosewood Fender Telecaster

George Harrison was presented with this Rosewood Telecaster by Fender in December, 1968. He played it in The Beatles' last ever live performance on top of the Apple building in London, in the 1970 Beatles movie "Let It Be" and on various parts of the "Abbey Road" album. It sold for $434,750 at a Juliens auction on September 13, 2003
George Harrison was presented with this Rosewood Telecaster by Fender in December, 1968. He played it in The Beatles' last ever live performance on top of the Apple building in London, in the 1970 Beatles movie "Let It Be" and on various parts of the "Abbey Road" album. It sold for $434,750 at a Juliens auction on September 13, 2003

Provenance: George Harrison, The Beatles, "Let It Be" and Apple Rooftop Performance!

Auctioned by Julien's, 2003

Presented by Fender with this Telecaster in December, 1968, George Harrison played it in the Beatles' last ever live performance on top of the Apple building in London, in the 1970 Beatles movie 'Let It Be' and on various parts of the 'AbbeyRoad' album.

The first Rosewood Telecaster was made by sandwiching thin layers of maple wood between a solid rosewood top and back. As one of the two makers, Philip Kubicki, recalls, "I spent hours sanding the bodies to perfection." It was then covered with a special satin polyurethane finish. Then, the historians say, Harrison's guitar was flown to England (in its own seat) accompanied by a courier, and hand-delivered to the Apple offices in December 1968.

The guitar was one of George's favourites and he used it on the Get Back sessions, the final roof-top performance on January 30 1969 and a final performance on the following day at the Apple Studios. It was soon after this that The Beatles disbanded.

Harrison gave the guitar to Delaney Bramlett, who had taught Harrison to play slide guitar, and who invited Harrison to join his group for some shows in England and Denmark. Bramlett has said that during the tour, he and Harrison would often switch guitars during the shows, but he loved that Rosewood Telecaster and would play it whenever he could.

There was a lot of speculation among collectors, historians and Beatles fans as to where the guitar was and Bramlett said that Harrison had joked with him that he should sell it before someone killed him for it. In 1998 Bramlett put the guitar up for auction, but the $200,000 reserve price was not met. In 2003 it was again offered at auction, two years after George Harrisons' death. It was bought, on behalf of Olivia Harrison, by the actor Ed Begley, and so returned home.

38 | $423,000 | 1966 Fender Stratocaster

Provenance: Pink Floyd "Pop Deux Festival de St. Tropez", 1970 plus many big live concerts

Auctioned by Christie's, 2019

Gilmour told Christie's,"I loved Fender Stratocasters, I loved Hank Marvin playing the Fender Stratocaster… The Stratocaster was my boyhood dream guitar and sometimes it's hard to wean yourself off that sort of thing.

Gilmour purchased this guitar in a second-hand shop in England in summer 1970. With a similar rosewood neck to his first white Strat, the guitar had been hand painted in white over its original white finish. It was first used publicly at the Pop Deux Festival de St. Tropez in 1970. Gilmour can be seen playing the guitar in footage of both the sound check and full concert, recorded for French television show Pop Deux. Video of the event was included in the CD/DVD/Blu-ray package The Early Years 1970 Devi/ation, released in March 2017. It was also played to an audience of 500,000 at the Fête de L'Humanité, Bois de Vincennes in Paris, on September 12, 1970.

Gilmour personally stripped the guitar back to its natural wood finish at his flat on London's Old Brompton Road in the early 1970s, after which it was fitted with Dawson Stereophonic pickups in 1976 and kept for studio use. Gilmour particularly liked the sound of the middle pickup on this guitar.

39 | $418,000 | 1993 Fender Mustang Custom

Fender Mustang guitar from Nirvana’s 1993 In Utero tour | Price: $340,000 | Auctioned: October 26, 2019 | Julien's Auctions
Fender Mustang guitar from Nirvana’s 1993 In Utero tour | Price: $340,000 | Auctioned: October 26, 2019 | Julien's Auctions

Provenance: Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, 1993 In Utero tour

Auctioned by Julien's, 2019

This left-handed Fender Mustang was created for Cobain by Scott Zimmerman

40 | $410,800 | 1969 Gibson Dove acoustic

Provenance: Elvis Presley

Auctioned by Julien's, 2016

In 1969, Vernon Presley went to Guitar City, near Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, to purchase a guitar as a gift for his son. Vernon requested several custom adjustments to personalize the guitar for Elvis, including changing the finish of the guitar to ebony, reported to be chosen to represent Elvis' recently earned black belt in karate, and the stunning acanthus script inlay of "Elvis Presley" on the fingerboard. The inlay was created by Randy Wood at Gruhn Guitars of Nashville, and the ebony finish was applied at Guitar City. Crowning the guitar and recognizing Elvis' achievement was the application of the Kenpo Karate decal on the body of the guitar.

The guitar appears to have been completed and gifted to Elvis in 1971. Presley began using the guitar that year and is photographed performing with it often between 1971 and 1973, including, most famously, during Presley's televised and broadcasted Aloha From Hawaii concert, noted as the first televised program to be beamed around the world by satellite.

The story ends in generosity when, in 1975, at a concert in Asheville, North Carolina, Presley gave the guitar to audience member Mike Harris. It was Presley's last show of a three-night tour. Presley was in the middle of the song "See See Rider" when Presley gave the guitar to a shocked Harris. Accounts vary as to what Presley said to Harris, from the prophetic "You keep the guitar. I gave it to you for a reason. Someday it will help you out." To the humble, "Hold on to that. Hopefully, it'll be valuable one day." The 21-year-old Harris sat with the guitar for the rest of the concert and then received a police escort out of the building.

Please note: This listing is a work in progress and will be continually updated and enhanced over time. It is currently being updated and will be published again as a top 100 during March, 2020. If anyone has knowledge of a guitar which should be included in this list, please use the comments section to alert us so we can offer our readership the most accurate, informative and comprehensive listing possible.

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15 comments
wilbo64
Not that it matters much but from '58 to'95 I owned an Epiphon, '68 Vox 12, '72 Strat, '70 SG,& OTHERS I cannot remember!
JESchwaikert
With all due respect to Mr. Hanlon, Hendrix did burn more than 2 Fender Strats: The one mentioned here @ Finsbury Astoria The hand painted one @ Monterey Pop A sunburst model @ Miami Pop that was given to and later restored and used by Frank Zappa.
IrvingClodowsky
I doubt that the Strat being played by Clapton in the picture at the top of the page is the guitar known as Blackie. The guitar looks brand new. Blackie has a visibly well worn fingerboard and a "cigarette burn" area on the headstock near the 6th string tuner.
JBB
The black Hendrix Flying V, custom made by Gibson for Jimi with arrowhead inlays. The guitar is at the Vault, Hard Rock Cafe London,;-)
Sage-Advice
#1 on your list, including ANY other guitars for charity auctions, should not be included, as the goal there is not about true valuation of the guitar, but as a tax write-off because the proceeds go to charity. It's a false and fabricated selling price having little to do with the guitar itself. I've been to plenty of such black-tie gala auctions in ballrooms and snobby venues all throughout Bel-Air and Beverly Hills. I hate the events. You see ludicrous, astronomical fetching prices because some D-Bag that has never even held a guitar in his life bids the thing up to $2.7 Million so he can look like a hero, get a few photo-ops, all with the goal to take it out of his penance paid to the IRS each year. He'll do it the next year with a Salvador Dali print signed by the master that's actually not worth much more than $2,500 at most - a litho that's 1-of-200. In some cases, the guitars are not even worth more than a few hundred dollars, often being Fender Squires or MIM/MIJ Strats. Yeah, they're signed - big deal. _I-I_
videobug
That proves there's a lot of stupid wealthy peoples in this world, that don't know what to do with their money. Imagine how many hungry peoples who would have been able to eat a decent meal with that kind of money in their hands..... Really stupid!
JBB
More on the Hendrix Flying V, according to one source the guitar is insured for 4 million pounds..
Matthew Giles
With respect to the line: "While some may dispute that Eric Clapton is the best guitar player of all-time,..." : One of the chief people who dispute that is Eric Clapton himself. He says that BB King is the best there ever was.
Mark Robinson
With respect to the line: "While some may dispute that Eric Clapton is the best guitar player of all-time,..." Clapton seems to be humble that way; I read where he said he hates his own voice, but IMO, he can more than carry a tune, and that nasal quality is perfect for the blues and again, IMO, second only to Gregg Allman in his prime. I also read where Clapton hates to listen to his live "Crossroads"; he said he never understood why it became popular. He's right; it is a very rough cut, plenty of mistakes, so I can see why a master would think that. I also recall reading years ago about Monterey. I don't remember which artist was backstage arguing with Pete Townsend about which would go on first. Hendrix, laid back as usual, didn't get involved in the dispute. Instead, he is reported to have said something along the lines that he didn't care when he went on, but when he did, he would do something like this. He plugged in his Strat, got up on a chair, and started wailing away. When he stopped, the argument resumed, only now they were arguing about who would have the displeasure of trying to follow Hendrix. They were all great. Me, I just can't help wondering what Hendrix and SRV would be doing today if only...
DennisPostcardBook
MISSING FROM THE LIST: A 1957 Gibson Les Paul Custom Left Handed guitar (one of only 283 produced) was sold at auction on 3/31/2007 at Eldred's Auction House in East Dennis on Cape Cod; at $220,000.00. You can Google their website and search their archive of back auctions to verify and see several photos in the event this link to it does not work: http://www.eldreds.com/sales/detail.php?itemID=106203