Guernsey’s of New York City to auction rare guitars including instruments owned by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton
A New York City auction house will host an auction of rare instruments accessible to collectors and bidders around the world.
Guernsey’s will hold a celebrity guitar auction starting at 2 p.m. Feb. 27 at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd St., New York City, but you don’t have to be there in person to bid. Those interested in scooping up a guitar associated with Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen or Elvis Presley can log on to www.liveauctioneers.com or www.invaluable.com to get in on the action.
More than 225 instruments and items will be up for bid.
“Guernsey’s, though smaller than the more well known Sotheby’s or Christie’s, has routinely been ranked as one of the best auction houses in the world, because we’ve built a reputation for producing interesting, high profile auctions that have set world records,” Guernsey’s founder and president Arlan Ettinger said.
Past Guernesy’s auctions have featured items that belonged to John F. Kennedy, Mickey Mantle, John Coltrane and Rosa Parks.
The auction is of similar size to one Guernsey’s held two years ago, which featured mostly acoustic guitars with subtle differences, Ettinger said.
“This auction is far more diverse,” Ettinger said. “We certainly have acoustic guitars like we had in that event two years ago, but we also have electric guitars of every description. Some are noteworthy by virtue of what they are, others noteworthy by virtue of who played them, so we certainly have our share of celebrity instruments. I think to sum it up, in my very, very humble opinion, it’s the best damn auction of guitars that’s ever been held. I say that tongue-in-cheek, but the comments that are being made of us are, ‘Wow.’”
Featured lots include a 1952 Gibson Super 400 CES 7-string made for the late studio guitarist Tony Mottola; two “In Cold Blood” guitars, one used in the 1967 Academy Award-winning movie based on the novel by Truman Capote and the other owned by the actual murderer Perry Smith; a 1959 Gibson owned by Franny Beecher; four guitars associated with Eric Clapton, two of which are signed; Jimi Hendrix’s guitar strap from Woodstock and two dozen instruments owned by George Benson.
Several of the items up for bid are estimated at tens of thousands of dollars, and a Fender Stratocaster, owned and played by Stevie Ray Vaughan is estimated at $250,000 to $500,000, but others are assessed for considerably less. Ettinger said bidders should not be deterred by estimates, because many of the items have no minimum bid and can sell for less than estimated.
Ettinger said he expects the Vaughan guitar along with a Euphonon played by Django Reinhardt and several instruments made by John D’Angelico to be among the highest sellers, but he encourages all who are interested to register online and tune in for something in their price range.
“There’s no intrinsic value to these things,” Ettinger said “It’s what the market believes they’re worth. It’s like the lottery. You’ve got to be in it to win it, and it doesn’t cost anything to give it the old college try.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or [email protected]
If you bid:
What: Celebrity Guitar Auction
Where: Guernsey’s, 321 East 73rd St., New York City, or register online at www.liveauctioneers.com or www.invaluable.com.
When: Beginning at 2 p.m. Feb. 27