Jerry Garcia’s Wolf guitar raises $3.2m for charity

Jerry Garcia’s iconic Wolf guitar raised a massive $3.2m in a charity auction at Guernsey's this week.

HubSpot founder Brian Halligan was the winning bidder, paying $1.9m including buyer’s premium. The remainder came from an unnamed charity. 

Jerry Garcia Wolf

Jerry Garcia commissioned Wolf in the early 1970s 

Halligan is also the author of the book Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead.

His bid (less the $300,000 premium) was matched by an unnamed charity. The proceeds will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Wolf was made especially for Garcia by luthier Doug Irwin in the early 1970s. Garcia first played it onstage at a Hell’s Angels concert in 1973.

Guernsey’s explained before the sale: “Fans of the Grateful Dead will know the incomparable Wolf as one of Jerry Garcia’s earliest and most recognizable instruments…

“The iconic appearance of this unique instrument and its role, not only in the rich early stages of Jerry Garcia’s career, but also in the history of modern guitar craftsmanship, have made Wolf one of the most treasured guitars in the music world.”

Wolf last sold for $789,000 at Guernsey’s in 2002, a sum it has surpassed by 140.8% - although the fact this was a charity sale will have skewed the result somewhat.

The Dead played their last ever concert in 2015.

Demand for memorabilia is likely to grow in the years to come.  

You can check out all our music memorabilia for sale here.

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