It’s not often us guitar lovers have the privilege of handling the guitars we all dream of. Come to a viewing day for the auction and we will certainly try and make that possible for you. Guitars used by ‘The Stars’ are even more of a rarity.
Over the years, we have had a few. Unfortunately for it to make a big difference in value, we need to be talking about a significant household name (all hail Mr. Clapton, Mr. Hendrix, Mr. Page and the many others we admire). Then we need to rely on the provenance been cast iron, which is another massive hurdle.
I have had many enquiries in the past, where the enquirer has gone away disappointed with the fact that the item they have was played by a great, but there is no documentation to prove it.
We had the pleasure of offering a pair of Jimi Hendrix stage worn boots a few years ago. Myself and my colleague Jamie, were both very excited about this. We unfortunately had the displeasure of them failing to sell on the day…….. We were selling on behalf of a vendor that we both know very well, which is a great start to establishing the truth of the story and the facts. The story did indeed check out and every stage. It is a long winded story. The basic gist is that they were originally offered with a job lot at Bonhams many years ago. Years later the buyer (who funilly enough resided in Bath) sold the items as individual lots in a general sale based in Andover. Our vendor won the boots, but unfortuanlty the original Bonhams receipt was given to the winner of the bag, which was in the original lot, with only a part lot sticker remaining with the boots themselves. Unfortunately, only two of the items in the lot were photographed at the time of the Bonhams sale, leaving little documentation to prove the provenance! A few months later, the bag in question did go under the hammer and sold for a healthy sum, thanks to the original receipt always staying with it. To cut a long story short, provenance really is everything.
In our forthcoming auction, we have a few interesting items, with links to stars. Will the provenance be strong enough on each? Only the hammer price will say. Are the stars popular enough to make a difference ? Only the hammer price will say!
Below I have included some of these items……..
We start with the collection of Geoffrey Banks. Geoff was the long term guitar tech for Malcolm Young of AC/DC, as well as working with other names such as Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike & The Mechanics), Brian May (Queen), Steve Howe, Robert Plant, Phil Collins, Toto and McFly to name a few. Most of the gear being sold under this collection will certainly have links to many of these names in some way. Even if it is just the odd flight case that followed the gods of rock ‘n’ roll (AC/DC), around the world, or the tuners that came off of Angus Youngs number one SG! (Please feel free to contact me about that!)
Included in the ‘Banks’ collection is a rather interesting lot in the form of a 1958 Fender Precision Bass. Like most vintage guitars, you have to proceed with caution in terms of originality. Initially I thought that this guitar was far to “relic’ed” to be true! After careful examination, it turns out the guitar is amazingly straight with genuine wear. We sought a second opinion on the guitar, from a chap who is not only incredibly knowledgeable (possibly one of the worlds best) but also happened to know Geoff and many of the guys that worked with him. To my amazement I was told that this one was previously owned by Cliff Williams of AC/DC (due to retire at the end of this tour) and gifted to Geoff during their 20 years touring together. WOW! We are currently trying to seek some kind of written provenance on this. Its a story that links in well, but will the ‘word of mouth’ provenance be enough at this stage? Lets let the hammer decide! Estimate £4000 – 8000
Next we have another rare guitar. A Travis Bean TB1000s. These are now very collectable and sought after, not to mention rare! This one is inscribed ‘Adrian Legg’ to the scratchplate as well as his name being stencilled on the case. Could this really have belonged to the great guitar virtuoso? Unfortunately it is being sold as part of a deceased estate, so the history has sadly been lost. What we do know is that Adrian did own a Travis Bean at some stage, so it quite possibly could be! Unsure how much difference this would make to the price mind you, as Adrian was more known for playing wacky Ovation multi neck guitars and other interesting fretted contraptions! If you have not checked him out, make sure you do! Again, lets let the hammer decide! Estimate £2000 – 4000
Lastly we move onto a rather stunning acoustic guitar made by the great Patrick James Eggle. Having a guitar built by the maker does not come cheap (I have been told upwards of £3000!!!) and this is a great example. Interestingly it was made for Frank Turner and sold by PJE via auction last year, having it returned to them when the artist endorsement ended. The wear on the table conforms with Franks style of playing. I am a fan of his and have seen him play live many times. Will this provenance add much value? Frank’s music is great, although he is possibly regarded as being part of the “underground scene”. I am sure however, there are many fans that would love to get hold of not only a great guitar, but one that is laced with Franks DNA! Estimate £1500 – 2500
So there we have it. I am sure many more associated guitars will pass our way over time. Like we say, the provenance is always key to success, but a story’s always nice! They will certainly be a talking point at the sale on March 16th. I hope to see many of you there!
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