A San Francisco Rock Star's Guitars, Art & More 100% Sold At Bonhams

Los Angeles – Alligator! A San Francisco Rock Star's Guitars, Art & More was 100% sold on December 10 at Bonhams Los Angeles. The sale comprised of Jerry Garcia's personal collection of guitars, paintings by Jerry Garcia, his large collection of comics, as well as his Hawaiian shirts. The top lot was Alligator! A Fender Stratocaster owned and played by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, which sold for $524,075. It had been estimated at $250,000-400,000.

A build date of 1955, Alligator is believed to have been gifted to Jerry Garcia in 1970 by Graham Nash (ex-Hollies; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) in appreciation of Garcia's guitar work on Nash's solo album Songs For Beginners. Nash supposedly bought the guitar in 1970 for $250 at a pawn shop in Phoenix, TX. The guitar has numerous external and internal modifications largely carried out by Frank Fuller and Rick Turner of Alembic, a company founded in 1969 composed of a small group of instrument and hi-fi specialists who were closely involved in achieving the Dead's signature sound of the 1970s.

Giles Moon, Bonhams Director of Music & Entertainment Memorabilia, commented: "'We were thrilled by today's result, which shows that the enthusiasm for Grateful Dead fans remains passionate and strong as ever. The collection generated a huge amount of interest during its exhibition in San Francisco and Los Angeles and we welcomed visitors from all around the globe."

Other highlights in the collection included:

A Martin D-28 Acoustic Guitar played by Jerry Garcia on The Festival Express Tour, Canada, 1970, sold for $175,075 (estimate: $30,000-50,000)
A Watercolor of an Alligator by Jerry Garcia (1942-1995), watercolor on paper, sold for $52,575 (estimate: $4,000-6,000)
A Jerry Garcia Watercolor titled "Snake in Juggling Show", circa 1990, sold for $40,075 (estimate: $8,000-12,000)
A Fender Vibrasonic 6g13-A Amplifier Owned and Used by Jerry Garcia, circa early 1960s, sold for $35,075 (estimate: $2,000-3,000)


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewelry. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

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