Eric Clapton has raised more than US$2.15 million for the drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre he founded by auctioning off his guitars in New York.
Collectors, fans and musicians alike gathered at Bonhams New York to celebrate the rock icon, whose personal collection of 75 guitars and 55 amps were auctioned off to benefit The Crossroads Centre in Antigua. With 100% 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 4.5 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.
Jon Baddeley, Worldwide Head of Collectables, said, “It has been a privilege and honor working on this exceptional sale and being associated with one of the most iconic living musicians, Eric Clapton. 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, estimated at $20,000-30,000, that sold for a staggering $82,960; and a 2005 Zemaitis S22BP 3S, estimated at $12,000-18,000, which sold for $75,640. The top amp of the sale was a pair of 1997 Fender Twin Amps, estimated at $9,000-12,000, sold for $42,700.