Millions of people have collectively paid billions of dollars over the years for different forms of memorabilia, paraphernalia and other collector’s items that have been owned by famous celebrities. Whether it was a movie costume worn by an actor, a microphone autographed by a famous singer or even an autographed jersey from a legendary athlete, the acquired value of these items allows them to be sold from hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars.
For example, there are many different guitars that have been sold over the years that were either created, purchased, used or signed by famous musicians and guitarists around the world.
Here is a list of the top 10 most valuable guitars that were sold for the highest amounts and the famous musicians that used them to make their mark on history.
1. Autographed Fender Stratocaster for “Reach Out to Asia” Charity
History was made back in 2005 when a Fender Stratocaster was sold during an auction in Qatar to support the Reach Out to Asia fund. The purpose of this charitable fund was to support the hundreds of thousands of people that were affected by the tsunami that had recently occurred. While there is nothing very special about the guitar itself, the true value comes from the people that signed it. This guitar was autographed by 20 famous guitarists and musicians, including Paul McCartney, Sting, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Brian May, Keith Richards, Liam Gallagher and Ritchie Blackmore.
There were many other valuable items that were auctioned off during this campaign, but this autographed guitar ended up being one of the biggest contributors to this fund. The guitar was sold for $2.7 million and all of the proceeds directly supported the foundation.
2. Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Stratocaster
Throughout his short yet legendary music career, Jimi Hendrix was known for being able to make magic on stage and in the recording studio with his guitars. Many people believe that he was able to make history with each memorable performance. One of his most memorable performances, however, was in 1969 at Woodstock when he used this particular guitar. There were so many different fans of Hendrix and professional collectors that had their eye on this instrument for years before it was put up for auction. Many reports have confirmed that it was sold to Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, for $2 million.
3. Bob Marley’s Customized Washburn 22 Series Hawk
Many of Bob Marley’s possessions were considered valuable collectibles, especially after he passed away. One of his most valuable possessions, however, was this guitar. Unlike many other famous musicians and guitarists that owned a vast collection of these instruments throughout their careers, Bob only used a total of seven guitars over the years – including this one. It was officially considered to be a national asset by the government of Jamaica and has an estimated value of close to $1.2 million.
4. Eric Clapton’s Stratocaster Hybrid
In the early 1970s, Eric Clapton decided to no longer use Gibson guitars. Instead, he discovered that he enjoyed playing with Stratocasters much more. His love for this particular brand of guitar even led him to purchasing six additional models. After giving three of them away to other famous musicians (including George Harrison and Steve Winwood), he dismantled the three that he had left and created “Blackie.” Blackie was eventually sold for $959,500.
5. Eric Clapton’s 1964 Gibson ES0335 TDC
After Eric Clapton played this guitar frequently throughout 1964, it was hardly ever played again because so many people simply admired and cherished it as a valuable collector’s item instead. This is one of the main reasons why it was eventually sold for $847,500.
6. Eric Clapton’s CF Martin & Co
There was a lot of history that was wrapped up inside of this particular guitar that dated back to the late 1930s. It was one of Eric’s prized possessions and became cherished by someone else when it was sold for $791,500. That money was then used as a charitable donation for Eric’s Crossroads Rehabilitation Center.
7. Stevie Ray Vaughan’s 1965 Fender Composite Stratocaster
The guitar famously known as “Lenny” was actually given to Stevie Ray Vaughan as a present from his wife for his 26th birthday. He paid tribute to his wife and showed his gratitude for this amazing gift at the time by naming the guitar after her and frequently played it right up until the day that he died. “Lenny” was sold for $623,500.
8. George Harrison and John Lennon’s 1964 Gibson SG
Almost anything that was touched, owned, played and worn by any member of the Beatles has sold for at least a six-figure price over the years. A prime example of this trend is this particular guitar, which was actually used by two of the four band members – George and John. George actually used it while the band recorded and toured for their Revolver album. John then used it later when the Beatles recorded their classic White album. It is not surprising, then, that it was eventually sold for $570,000.
9. Eric Clapton’s Gold Leaf Stratocaster
In 1996, Eric Clapton personally had this guitar ordered through Fender around the same time that the company was celebrating their 50th anniversary. This famous musician primarily wanted to invest in something that would look great on display in a museum exhibit. Fender took his vision and ran with it by creating a custom 23-carat gold plated fender. Its final selling price was $455,550.
10. 1949 Fender Broadcaster Prototype
This specific model was the very first prototype that was designed by Leo Fender. This prototype would serve as the basic blueprint for what would eventually become known as the most popular guitar that has ever been made – the Fender Telecaster. Even though it was not sold for as much as many of the other guitars featured on this list, a purchase price of $375,000 is still extremely impressive when you take into consideration the massive number of guitars that have been sold but have not come anywhere close to that figure.