Eric Clapton guitars fetch millions for charity

Eric Clapton guitars on auction: The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Eric Clapton, has put guitars on the auction block in New York, raising millions of dollars for his charity.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Guitars belonging to British music icon Eric Clapton are displayed at the Bonhams auction house in New York March 4. More than 70 guitars belonging to Clapton went on the auction block in New York to raise money for his drug and alcohol treatment center in the Caribbean, Wednesday.

Even without his nimble fingers touching their strings, Eric Clapton's guitars rocked New York City on Wednesday as an auction of them brought in millions of dollars.

A 1948 Gibson L-5P sold for $82,960, well above its presale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. And a replica of a prized Clapton guitar that duplicates the cigarette burns and belt buckle scratches found on the original sold for $30,500 at the auction.

The sale at Bonhams New York included 75 guitars and 55 amps from the British artist's collection and brought in $2.15 million. Proceeds were to benefit a drug and alcohol treatment center Clapton founded in the Caribbean.

The 65-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is a recovered addict who established the nonprofit Crossroads Centre in Antigua in 1998.

The replica Fender Stratocaster "Blackie" guitar is inscribed in silver felt pen with "Eric Clapton 2010." The original "Blackie" sold at Christie's in 2004 for $959,500. It was the most expensive guitar ever to be sold at auction, said Bonhams' expert, Carey Wallace. The Los Angeles-based Guitar Center bought it.

Other Clapton guitars sold even better than the "Blackie" replica Wednesday.

An original custom-made black Fender "Eric Clapton" signature Stratocaster sold for $51,240, including the buyer's premium. It had been used during the Cream Reunion Shows in New York and London in 2005. Its presale estimate was $20,000 to $30,000.

The amp with the loudest sale price was a pair of 1997 Fender Twin Amps, estimated at $9,000 to $12,000. They sold for a booming $42,700.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.