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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’s guitars at Christie’s in New York has shattered records, fetching a total of $21,490,750.

The former Pink Floyd vocalist and guitarist had previously revealed that the money raised would go towards the ClientEarth charity.

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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 Munro

News editor for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. He’s been at the news desk since 2014 and when not writing, he can be found watching baseball and visiting whisky distilleries.