This black Fender Stratocaster custom-built for Eric Clapton's Cream reunion concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall in 2005 could sell for as little as $20,000 at Bonhams in New York this week. There are also much less-expensive lots among the 75 guitars and 55 amplifiers Clapton is selling to benefit his Crossroads Center Antigua for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. ARTKABINETT art collector social network has him uploaded on our iPod as we peruse the auction catalog.
"This sale is much more for the fans," said Carey Wallace of London-based firm Wallace & Hodgson, which put together the auction. ìThere are affordable guitars, affordable amps.î
Today's sale is expected to take in $400,000 to $600,000. Two earlier Crossroads auctions, at Christie's, totaled $5.1 million in 1999 and $7.4 million in 2004. On both occasions, every lot sold, including a black Strat for $959,500.
"Prices just skyrocketed and were inaccessible to the fans," said Wallace, whose firm also organized the Christieís sales.
At Bonhams, a 1920s mandolin-banjo that resembles an ornate frying pan has a modest range of $300 to $500. A 1992 wood-body tricone resonator guitar designed by Mark Lewis has a low estimate of $6,000.
Making a return appearance is a 1948 Gibson L-5P, with a range of $20,000 to $30,000. It fetched more than $100,000 in the 2004 auction, Wallace said. The buyer, Shamir Deen, donated it to the Bonhams sale, according to the catalog.
The 2008 sky-blue guitar (shown left) designed for Clapton by the Fender Custom Shop, has a presale range of $20,000 to $30,000. It was probably used in concert appearances with Steve Winwood and Jeff Beck.
Other Guitar Gods
For those who worship other guitar gods, thereís a 2006 Fender Esquire Jeff Beck replica model signed by Beck with a presale estimate of $4,500 to $6,500.
Claptonís amplifiers appear on the market for the first time, Wallace said, flagging a 1957 Fender Twin Amp acquired by Clapton in the 1980s and ìreputed to be his favorite amp,î according to the catalog. He used it at the 1992 Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Celebration and other concerts. The amp has a low estimate of $7,500.
Of course, once you have the guitar and the amp, youíll need the clothes. Fortunately, Bonhams is offering a three-piece ìStage Suitî in ìfine black woolî made by Gianni Versace for Clapton. The presale estimate is $3,000 to $4,000.
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream.
Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked fourth in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's Top 50 Guitarists of All Time. A recipient of seventeen Grammy Awards, in 2004 Clapton was awarded a CBE for services to music.[