Top Five electric guitars at auction
Top Five electric guitars at auction
Paul Fraser Collectibles looks at five of the most outstanding electric guitars ever auctioned
- Jimi Hendrix's burnt Stratocaster
The show ended with a hospital appointment for Jimi's burnt fingers
Amazingly, when Jimi Hendrix first burnt one of his famous Fender Stratocasters he was just the support act for the Walker Brothers at the Finsbury Astoria in 1967. Always keen to make a lasting impression, Hendrix's incendiary show ended with a hospital appointment for his burnt fingers and set a precedent for rock performances of the future.
The guitar is said to have been intact when Jimi left the stage, but after being gifted to Frank Zappa, it spent many years lying in his house and, by the time it reached auction, the neck had rotted through. Nonetheless it sold for $495,292 at a 2007 auction.
- Bob Marley's Washburn 22 Series Hawk
Marley's Washburn is one of only seven owned during his lifetime
Bob Marley wasn't exactly famed for his virtuoso solos or complex rhythms. However, as one of just seven guitars owned by the dreadlocked icon, the Washburn 22 Series Hawk - one of his most used instruments - is now considered a national asset of Jamaica.
Unfortunately, due to its outstanding heritage, the guitar is unlikely to ever come to auction. It is estimated to be worth in the region of $1.2m.
Another of Bob Marley's guitars appeared at a Christie's auction in 2008, with an estimate of $30,000-40,000. However, the Wailers bassist Aston Barrett soon recognised it as his own and launcheda legal battleagainst the consignor for its safe return.
- Eric Clapton's Blackie
Clapton was dubbed "God" for his virtuoso guitar playing
Any man labelled "God" for his innovative guitar style gets a place in our top five. Blackie, a black Fender Stratocaster, was personally assembled by Clapton from the best parts of three 1950s models and is undoubtedly his most used and iconic guitar.
Played on and off stage for over 12 years, Blackie was eventually retired in 1985 due to warping in the neck. It was later replaced with the Eric Clapton signature model Stratocaster in 1987, which he still uses today.
Blackie was eventually sold at a Christie's auction in 2004 for $959,500. Proceeds from the sale went to the Crossroads Centre, the drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity founded by Clapton.
- Jimi Hendrix's white Stratocaster
Hendrix's Woodstock guitar is now on display at the Experience Music Project
Jimi's white 1968 Stratocaster was used in many of his live performances, but the most notable has to be the Star Spangled Banner show at Woodstock in 1969. The wailing, distorted rendition of the US national anthem sparked anger from America's most patriotic citizens, but went down in history as one ofHendrix's most electric live shows.
The guitar was first sold at Sotheby's in 1990 for the then-record price of 198,000. It was later sold to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in a private sale, believed to have been in the region of $1.3m.
- Reach Out to Asia signed Stratocaster
Reach Out to Asia helps victims of crisis across Asia
Following the 2005 Asian tsunami, some of rock and roll's most famous names teamed up in order to raise much needed funds for the victims at a charity auction organised by Reach Out to Asia.
Signed by Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Brian May and Paul McCartney among numerous others,it was sold for $2.7m tobecome the world's most valuable guitar.
Paul Fraser Collectibles hasa unique Reverso guitar which has been signed by all members of the Rolling Stones, who are this year celebrating their 50th anniversary.
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