The Prices Of Most Expensive Guitars In The World Would Blow Your Mind
via Eric Clapton / Youtube
When it comes to musical instruments, guitars have an uncanny ability to steal the limelight. And if you think all guitars are created equal, think again. Some of these six-stringed wonders have fetched jaw-dropping prices at auctions, making them the holy grail for collectors and music enthusiasts alike.
Here’s a rundown of the 20 most expensive guitars ever sold, where history and music converge to create astronomical price tags.
1. Eric Clapton’s 1939 Martin Acoustic – $791,500
Eric Clapton’s charitable spirit led his 1939 Martin Acoustic to be auctioned for an impressive $791,500 at the Crossroads Guitar Auction in 2004. The proceeds went to his Crossroads Centre rehab facility, demonstrating the power of music for a greater cause.
2. Eric Clapton’s 1964 Gibson ES-335 – $847,500
Another Clapton treasure, his 1964 Gibson ES-335, fetched a staggering $847,500 at the same charity auction. This historic instrument saw action with Clapton in various bands, making it a true legend that echoes with musical history.
3. Jerry Garcia’s Tiger Guitar – $957,500
Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia had a knack for custom guitars. His ‘Tiger’ guitar, designed by Doug Irwin, sold for $957,500 in 2002, cementing its place in rock history as an emblem of artistic uniqueness.
4. Eric Clapton’s Blackie Strat – $959,500
Clapton’s iconic ‘Blackie’ Fender Stratocaster, cobbled together from three different guitars, hit a high note with a $959,500 price tag, showing that the sum can be greater than its parts.
5. Bob Dylan’s Newport Strat – $965,000
Bob Dylan’s sunburst Stratocaster, played at the legendary 1965 Newport Folk Festival, fetched $965,000 at auction. This guitar witnessed a pivotal moment in music history and still resonates with the winds of change.
6. Keith Richards’ 1959 Les Paul – $1 Million
Keith Richards’ 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard made waves after appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show. Its $1 million price reflects its historic significance, forever preserving its place in rock ‘n’ roll lineage.
7. David Gilmour’s 1969 Martin D-35 Acoustic – $1.09 Million
David Gilmour’s beloved 1969 Martin D-35 acoustic guitar strummed its way to a hefty $1.09 million, a testament to its musical value that resonates through Gilmour’s melodies.
8. 1958 Gibson Korina Explorer – $1.1 Million
A rare gem, the 1958 Gibson Korina Explorer, scored a cool $1.1 million, showcasing the allure of unique craftsmanship that has collectors entranced.
9. Bob Marley’s Custom Washburn Hawk – $1.2 Million
Bob Marley’s personalized Washburn 22-Series Hawk guitar soared to a value of $1.2 million, honoring the reggae legend’s musical legacy and the sentimental value of cherished gifts.
10. Duane Allman’s 1957 Gibson Les Paul – $1.2 Million
The Gibson Les Paul that played a role in creating the iconic “Layla” sold for over a million, preserving a slice of rock history and the soulful echoes of Allman’s melodies.
11. David Gilmour’s 1964 Fender Stratocaster – $1.8 Million
Gilmour’s white 1954 Fender Strat fetched $1.8 million, with a rich history including associations with country star Rex Gallion, showcasing its versatile journey.
12. Jerry Garcia’s Wolf Guitar – $1.9 Million
Another Doug Irwin masterpiece, Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf” guitar, howled to the tune of $1.9 million, with the money raised going to a good cause and enhancing the guitar’s influence.
13. Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock Strat – $2 Million
Jimi Hendrix’s legendary white 1968 Stratocaster, strummed at Woodstock, sold for a noteworthy $2 million, an emblem of rock’s golden era that continues to inspire awe.
14. Peter Green + Gary Moore’s 1959 Les Paul – $2 Million
A Les Paul owned by both Peter Green and Gary Moore fetched $2 million, proving its enduring appeal to guitar aficionados and its role in shaping diverse musical legacies.
15. John Lennon’s Gibson J-160E Acoustic-Electric – $2.4 Million
John Lennon’s Gibson J-160E went for $2.4 million at Julien’s Auctions in 2015. The stunning acoustic instrument had quite the journey before that. After becoming separated from the Beatles member in 1967, it eventually wound up at a guitar store in San Diego. A man named Tommy Pressley purchased it, eventually selling it to a friend, John McCaw. Years later, McCaw arranged for author Andy Babiuk of Beatles Gear to verify the instrument’s authenticity. This journey adds to its storied value.
16. ‘Reach Out to Asia’ Charity Fender Stratocaster – $2.7 Million
A star-studded Fender Strat, adorned with autographs from rock legends, brought in $2.7 million for charity, a testament to the power of music and giving back, transforming guitars into instruments of change.
17. David Gilmour’s Black Strat – $3.9 Million
Gilmour’s ‘Black Strat’ joined the ranks of high-priced guitars, with its $3.9 million sale contributing to the fight against climate change. This hefty price tag is a symphony of support for a greener planet.
18. Eddie Van Halen’s ‘Hot For Teacher’ Guitar – $3.9 Million
Eddie Van Halen’s Kramer guitar from the “Hot for Teacher” video reached a crescendo at $3.9 million, honoring the legacy of a guitar virtuoso whose sound defined an era.
19. Kurt Cobain’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Fender Mustang – $4.6M
Kurt Cobain’s Fender Mustang from the iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video strummed its way to a monumental $4.6 million, an ode to grunge’s lasting impact and Cobain’s enduring voice.
20. Kurt Cobain’s ‘Unplugged’ Guitar – $6 Million
The most expensive guitar to date, Kurt Cobain’s ‘Unplugged’ acoustic-electric model, fetched an astonishing $6 million, immortalizing the grunge icon’s musical influence and capturing the raw essence of his artistry.