Sold for $3.9m: David Gilmour’s Black Strat just became the most expensive guitar in history

David Gilmour Black Strat

When David Gilmour announced that he was to auction off some of his most famous guitars - 120 of them, to be precise - there was no doubting the star of the show. His fabled Black Strat is, quite simply, one of the most iconic electric guitars in history, and its legendary status was confirmed when it went under the hammer at Christie’s in New York yesterday (20 June).

In the end, the Black Strat sold for an astonishing $3.975,000, a world record sum. This much-modded guitar was originally a Fender 1968 to ’69 alder-body Strat with black painted over the original Sunburst. It had a Fender late-’60s maple neck (large headstock) and 21 frets, but a rosewood-necked version features on The Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here, and the mods have continued since.

Prior to the auction, Kerry Keane of Christie’s New York noted that, while extensive modifications of this nature would normally decimate the value of a vintage guitar, the Pink Floyd provenance makes them part of an incredibly compelling story of the music made with this particular instrument.

What the new owner plans to do with the guitar is a mystery, but we know that proceeds from the sale will go to ClientEarth, a charity that's been set up to fight against climate change and protect nature and the environment. In total, the auction raised a whopping $21.5m, which we'd say is a pretty good result.

Find out more on the Christie's website.

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Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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