Two guitars owned by music legends Jimi Hendrix and Prince led Bonhams' Entertainment Memorabilia sale in London today (15 December), highlights in an auction that sold 92% by value.
Jimi Hendrix's longest-owned guitar was the star of the auction. An Epiphone acoustic, that Hendrix bought second hand for around $25 in 19,51 was estimated at £80,000-120,000. It sold for £209,000 after much media attention and a tense bidding war. The guitar was in Hendrix's possession for almost three years and he used it continuously in his London home. Hendrix gave the instrument to Blue Mink guitarist Alan Parker, and it featured in recordings by Dusty Springfield, Walker Brothers, Paul McCartney and David Bowie.
Katherine Schofield, Head of Bonhams Entertainment Department, said, "Bonhams are privileged to have sold Jimi Hendrix's acoustic guitar for £209,000 - well over the estimate of £80,000-120,000. Hendrix is among the greatest instrumentalists in the history of rock, making this Epiphone acoustic the pinnacle for any guitar collector."
Another showstopping success at the auction was Prince's magnificent Cloud Guitar, custom made and taken on the Act I & II, Prince and the New Power Generation Tours of 1993. It sold for £87,500 – more than three times its estimate of £25,000-30,000. The vendor won the Cloud in an MTV competition in 1993. Another guitar, this one a Gibson Les Paul Special Double Cutaway signed by B.B.King, estimated at £3,500-4,500, sold for a huge £22,500.
Elsewhere, a watercolour and pencil sketch of Audrey Hepburn in her role as Holly Golightly in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's, sold for £35,000, against an estimate of £10,000-15,000. The sketch, by thefilm's costume supervisor Edith Head, was brought to life for the film by the fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy.
In an auction that saw success follow success, the flamboyant silk jacket worn by Rolling Stones' Keith Richards on stage at the London Palladium in January 1967, broke the world record for an item of clothing worn by a member of the band when it sold for £35,000 (having been estimated at £10,000-15,000). The single-breasted jacket printed with colourful Oriental motifs can be seen in numerous photos of The Stones on and back stage. The jacket was given to the vendor's parents by Keith Richards himself.
Another world record was broken as a David Bowie autographed album cover sold for £7,000 (breaking through an estimate of £1,000-1,500) – the highest price achieved achieved for any Bowie signed album cover. The Aladdin Sane cover from 1973 is inscribed 'For Julie, much love David Bowie x'.
Katherine Schofield said, "There was determined bidding from global collectors throughout the sale which showed the strength of the market for this category."
The next Entertainment Memorabilia Sale is at Bonhams New York on 27 March 2017 and at Bonhams Knightsbridge on 28 June 2017.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com