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Top 12 Most Expensive Guitars In The World

Welcome to our new article, the ultimate destination for inspiration on living a beautiful, successful, and elegant life. In today’s article, we’re diving into the fascinating world of guitars, specifically the most expensive guitar ever sold at auction.

As any guitar enthusiast knows, the combination of quality wood, pickups, and strings can make guitars quite pricey. Guitar auctions are a unique realm where the connection between artists and auction houses takes center stage.

Let’s explore the top 12 most expensive guitar in the world that have fetched jaw-dropping prices, totaling a staggering $23,069,000.

In 1970, Eric Clapton became fascinated with Fender’s Stratocaster, purchasing the entire supply from a music store in Nashville. He gifted three to friends and used the rest to create his perfect Strat, known as Blackie. This legendary guitar, with a 1956 body and a 1957 neck, set a world record auction price when it sold for $959,000 in New York in 2004.

Eric Clapton's Blackie Fender Stratocaster guitar

This guitar witnessed a pivotal moment in music history when Dylan, an acoustic folk legend, switched to electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, much to the purists’ dismay. This controversial yet significant instrument was later sold for $965,000 which make it most expensive electric guitar.

 Bob Dylan's 1964 Fender Stratocaster guitar
Bob Dylan’s 1964 Fender Stratocaster guitar

David Gilmour’s Martin D35, auctioned in New York in 2019 for $1,095,000, holds sentimental value for the Pink Floyd guitarist. Gilmour once stated it would be the one luxury item he’d bring if stranded at sea, as it played a significant role in creating numerous Pink Floyd hits.

David Gilmour's Martin D35
David Gilmour’s Martin D35

Duane Allman’s 1957 Gibson Les Paul, auctioned in Dallas in 2019 for $1,250,000, is a unique gold-top model. Despite not being a burst, this guitar, with its humbuckers and rich history, has graced the stage with artists like Billy Gibbons, Kirk Hammett, and Derek Trucks.

Duane Allman's 1957 Gibson Les Paul
Duane Allman’s 1957 Gibson Les Paul

Another gem from David Gilmour, the 1954 Fender Stratocaster, was auctioned for $1,815,000 in New York in 2019. Despite not being his first Strat, its pre-production status and association with Pink Floyd added to its allure.

David Gilmour's 1954 Fender Stratocaster
David Gilmour’s 1954 Fender Stratocaster: Sold for $1,815,000 (New York, 2019)

Jerry Garcia’s custom Wolf guitar, a creation by luthier Doug Irwin, fetched $1,900,000 at auction in New York in 2017. This unique instrument featured a distinctive form, hardware, and control scheme. Notably, Garcia could swap different pickup systems on the fly, making it a truly iconic piece for Grateful Dead enthusiasts.

wolf jerry garcia guitar
wolf jerry garcia guitar

Gibson’s innovation of adding a pickup to an acoustic guitar struck gold for rock and rollers. John Lennon’s Gibson J160E, used in creating hits like “Love Me Do,” was stolen during a 1963 Christmas concert but resurfaced at auction in Los Angeles in 2015, commanding a record-breaking $2,410,000.

Jerry Garcia's "Wolf" - Sold for $1,900,000 (New York, 2017)

A unique entry on our list, the Reach Out to Asia Fender Stratocaster, sold for $2,700,000 in Qatar in 2005. While not owned by a celebrity, this humble Mexican Stratocaster bore the signatures of Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, and other legends. The proceeds went to aid the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Reach Out to Asia Fender Stratocaster - Sold for $2,700,000 (Qatar, 2005)
Reach Out to Asia Fender Stratocaster: Sold for $2,700,000

In 2019, David Gilmour’s Black Fender Stratocaster, extensively customized and used for the iconic solo in “Comfortably Numb,” made waves at auction in New York, selling for an astounding $3,975,000.

David Gilmour's Black Fender Stratocaster - Sold for $3,975,000 (New York, 2019)
David Gilmour’s Black Fender Stratocaster: Sold for $3,975,000

Breaking all records, Kurt Cobain’s Martin D-18E, played during Nirvana’s legendary MTV Unplugged sessions, became the most expensive guitar ever sold at auction. In 2020, it fetched an unprecedented $6,010,000, linking the iconic instrument to one of rock’s most revered figures.

Kurt Cobain's Martin D-18E - Sold for $6,010,000 (Los Angeles, 2020)
Kurt Cobain’s Martin D-18E: Sold for $6,010,000

This guitar, once owned by Beatles frontman John Lennon, was used to create some of the band’s most magical moments. It even belonged to fellow Beatle Ringo Starr for a while before finding its way to an Indianapolis Colts owner for a cool $910,000, which makes it the costliest guitar in the world.

John Lennon's 1964 Rose Morris Rickenbacker (1996, $910,000)
John Lennon’s 1964 Rose Morris Rickenbacker

Rolling Stones’ legendary guitarist Keith Richards and his trusty 1959 Les Paul Standard are practically inseparable. This well-worn beauty, bearing the scars of countless rock ‘n’ roll nights, snagged a cool $1 million at auction, which is the most expensive guitar in the world.

most expensive guitars in the world is  Keith Richards' 1959 Les Paul Standard (2015, $1 million)
most expensive guitars in the world is Keith Richards’ 1959 Les Paul Standard (2015, $1 million)

Stay tuned for the next part of this article, where we’ll unveil the remaining top 12 most expensive guitars, featuring even more iconic instruments and music legends! Remember, this is just a glimpse into the fascinating world of collectible guitars and the stories they hold.

In the realm of guitars, it’s not just about the wood, strings, or craftsmanship; it’s about the history and the musicians who wielded these instruments. Each guitar on this list tells a story of musical brilliance and cultural impact. Whether it’s the legendary Blackie or Kurt Cobain’s poignant Martin D-18E, these guitars have become more than instruments—they are symbols of an era, a sound, and a legacy.

What is the world’s most expensive guitar?

Kurt Cobain’s 1959 Martin D-18E for $1 million.

What is the most famous guitar?

It depends on your definition of “famous.” The Fender Stratocaster or Gibson Les Paul are strong contenders.

What is the top-rated guitar?

Subjective and depends on playing style and budget. Stratocasters or Telecasters are popular choices.

What is the biggest-selling guitar in the world?

Fender Stratocaster, with millions sold since its 1954 debut.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through the top 12 most expensive guitars sold at auction. If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it with your family and friends. Bookmark this page for more content. Until next time, stay tuned for more extraordinary tales from the world of luxury and music on the Locks Aura Channel.

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