Collectors, fans and musicians gathered at Bonhams New York yesterday for a sale of 75 guitars and 55 amps from the collection of Eric Clapton. The items were auctioned to benefit The Crossroads Centre in Antigua. With 100 percent of the lots sold, the final auction total more than tripled pre-sale expectations, with proceeds going to the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre founded by Clapton in 1998.
Bidders from all four corners of the globe battled throughout the 4 ½ hour auction and included clients from the U.S., Asia, Australasia, UK, Europe, and the Caribbean. Notably, a private Russian Eric Clapton fan and collector showed keen interest in the room and Asian participants included those from Japan, Korea and Hong Kong.
“It has been a privilege and an honour working on this exceptional sale and being associated with one of the most iconic living musicians, Eric Clapton,” said Jon Baddeley, Worldwide Head of Collectables at Bonhams. “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. We were delighted to play our part in raising funds for The Crossroads Centre, a charity with a noble mission and a cause that remains very close to Eric’s heart.”
Guitar highlights included a 1948 Gibson L-5P that sold for $82,960 and a 2005 Zemaitis S22BP 3S that sold for $75,640. The top amp of the sale was a pair of 1997 Fender Twin Amps that sold for $42,700.