A guitar owned by rock star Eric Clapton – complete with a cigarette burn on the headstock – has sold for £25,000 at auction.
The guitar, a 1978 Guild D55NT natural-wood acoustic, was sold at Gardiner Houlgate auctions in Corsham, Wiltshire and had been expected to fetch up to £10,000.
It was owned by the acclaimed musician between 1978 and 1999, until he sold it at a charity auction in New York to raise money for his Crossroads drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.
Auctioneers say the guitar appears to have the same strings as when Clapton owned it, as they are tied off in the same style as his long-time guitar technician Lee Dickson.
Clapton used to hang a lit cigarette off the end of his guitar’s headstock.
According to records supplied with the instrument, the rock star owned and used the guitar for writing and recording.
Among other items sold was a shelving unit built by former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett and was saved from his home after his death in 2006. The plywood unit was sold to a buyer in Switzerland for £120.
Auctioneer Luke Hobbs said: “It was a fabulous sale that far exceeded our expectations. We knew we’d get a lot of interest in the Clapton guitar, but nowhere near this level.
“The buyers in the room were gasping each time the price went up. It’s one of the tensest sales I’ve been involved in.”