Bonhams have announced a landmark auction next year featuring more than 150 lots from Eric Clapton's personal collection. The sale in New York, on March 9, will include over 70 guitars and 70 amps which have helped define Clapton's legendary sound.
The auction will have pre-sale viewings at Bonhams London during January, and Bonhams & Butterfields Los Angeles in February. It is the very first time Clapton has donated his historic amplifiers to auction and gives collectors and investors a rare opportunity to purchase a piece of music history.
Highlights include one of Clapton's main stage guitars from 2005, which formed one of a pair he memorably used during the Cream Reunion Shows in London and New York - a custom built black Fender 'Eric Clapton Signature' Stratocaster, estimate $20,000-30,000; and a pair of circa 1970 Marshall vintage basket weave speaker cabinets, used during the 1970s whilst appearing with Derek And The Dominos, estimate $8,000-10,000.
Also included are instruments and amps by Fender, Gibson, Marshall, Martin and Music Man to name but a few. Some of the amps have a strong association with Clapton's career from the 1970s to the present day. The auction also includes guitars donated by famous musicians such as Jeff Beck, J.J. Cale, and Joe Bonamassa.
It is the first time that such a large and interesting collection of amps has ever been offered on the auction market, and with estimates on amps and guitars spanning from $300-30,000, there's something for entry-level investors as well as high-end collectors. Fans may also be interested to note that an autograph by Clapton is currently available for just £150.
The auction is being held to benefit The Crossroads Centre, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Antigua that Clapton founded in 1998.
A spokesman for the Centre said "The Crossroads Centre is very excited to be the beneficiary of Eric Clapton's guitar and amp auction at Bonhams which will directly assist those who are in need of addiction treatment. As we know, recovery from addiction is possible and with quality treatment and support, is often lifesaving."
The auction is being held in association with Wallace & Hodgson, who worked on the two previous record breaking Clapton/ Crossroads Guitar auctions in 1999 and 2004.
Stephanie Connell, Head of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams says, "We are delighted to be offering such a fantastic collection of guitars and amps from such an iconic musician and hope the auction will raise a lot of money for this worthwhile cause."
2010 has already seen some very notable guitar sales and solid growth in the market for rock'n'roll memorabilia, so next year's auction promises to offer some excellent investment opportunities for collectors and fans alike. Along with the chance to play along to "Layla" really loud when you get home.
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