Clapton strikes a chord at auction
Published 10/03/2011 | 04:36
Eric Clapton has raised £1.3 million after selling off part of his extensive guitar collection - to fund his rehab clinic.
More than 130 lots were auctioned from the music legend's archive including a number of guitars he played live and on record, plus a vast collection of amps, speakers and even suits.
Highlights of the sale at Bonhams New York included a 1948 Gibson which sold for £51,000 - three times its estimate - which was used on one of Clapton's solo blues albums.
An intricately decorated mahogany Zemaitis - inlaid with pearl - went for £47,000.
Custom-built 1997 Fender Twin Amps - created to ensure his favourite vintage 1957 speakers did not get damaged on tour - fetched four times the estimated price, selling for £26,000. The copies exceeded the £24,000 paid for Clapton's original amps in the sale.
Money from the sale will go towards the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, which Clapton founded in 1998 to help treat drug and alcohol addiction.
He has previously held auctions in 1999 and 2004.
Jon Baddeley, worldwide head of collectables at Bonhams, said: "Arguably the greatest guitarist of all time, Eric Clapton inspires an ever-expanding fan base, many of whom made the journey to Bonhams in New York over the past few days and joined us for this remarkable auction."