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David Gilmour’s guitar auction shatters records in New York

David Gilmour (Image credit: Polly Samson)

The auction to sell 127 of David Gilmour (opens in new tab)’s guitars at Christie’s in New York has shattered records, fetching a total of $21,490,750.

The former Pink Floyd (opens in new tab) vocalist and guitarist had previously revealed that the money raised would go towards the ClientEarth charity (opens in new tab).

And as soon as bidding got under way, it was clear that this would be a sale that would exceed expectations.

The very first lot was a 1966 solid-body Fender Stratocaster (opens in new tab) which Gilmour purchased in 1970. It carried an estimate of between $10,000 - $15,000, but it sold for $423,000.

Gilmour’s six-string Martin D-35 (opens in new tab) which he played on Wish You Were Here and Shine On You Crazy Diamond had an estimate of $10,000 - $20,000 but the clamour to own a piece of rock history saw the instrument selling for $1,095,000 – a world auction record for C.F. Martin guitar. 

The 12-string Martin acoustic (opens in new tab) which Gilmour also used on Wish You Were Here had an estimate of between $5,000 - $10,000, but sold for $531,000.

But it was Gilmour’s White and Black Stratocasters that set the sale alight when they were introduced to the packed auction house.

The White Strat (opens in new tab) Gilmour played on Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 went under the hammer for $1,815,000 – far exceeding its estimated price of $100,000 - $150,000. It was, for a while, a world record sale price for a Fender Stratocaster.

But it was the Black Strat (opens in new tab) Gilmour bought at Manny’s music store on West 48th Street in New York in 1970 that received the biggest gasp.

The instrument he used on The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall, carried an estimate of $100,000 - $150,000, but it broke a new world record for a guitar at auction, selling for an incredible $3,975,000.

Announcing his decision to donate the money from the sale to ClientEarth (opens in new tab), Gilmour said: “The global climate crisis is the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face, and we are within a few years of the effects of global warming being irreversible. 

“I hope that the sale of these guitars will help ClientEarth in their cause to use the law to bring about real change.

“We need a civilised world that goes on for all our grandchildren and beyond in which these guitars can be played and songs can be sung.”

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Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.