The David Gilmour Guitar Auction: A Summary of All Items

The David Gilmour Guitar Auction: A Summary of All Items

On June 20, 2019, more than 120 of David Gilmour’s guitars will be going up for auction at Christie’s in New York, with all proceeds going to charitable causes.  This is already turning out to be one of the largest guitar auctions ever, and is expected to net millions from the instruments on display due their historical significance, whether through David and Pink Floyd or otherwise.

Many of David’s favourite guitars are going away, including guitars that have served as mains both onstage and in the studio.  This includes the famous Red Strat (lot 56) that he favoured in the late ’80s and ’90s, but this is especially true for the legendary Black Strat (lot 127), which despite its Frankenstein nature, has been David’s go-to for the better part of his long career, and naturally stands front and center in this auction.

This is a list and short summary of every item in the auction, along with the link to the lot for more info, photos, and the opportunity to bid if there’s still time.  Looking through these lots reads like a history of David’s incredible career with Pink Floyd and beyond, and I certainly hope these entries remain archived once the auction comes to a close.

1. Fender Stratocaster 1966 (natural) Formerly the second White Strat (the original White Strat being David’s first Stratocaster and his main until it was stolen in 1970), modded and finish removed, custom stereo pickups; most famously used at the 1970 St. Tropez Pop Festival while it was still white.

2. Martin D-35 acoustic 1969 The Wish You Were Here lead acoustic; evidently David’s favourite acoustic guitar, also used on many other recordings throughout the years; never used live since David didn’t want to put any electronics in it.

3. Martin Vega 5-string banjo, 1970

4. Kaptan Chand Indian sitar NO LONGER AVAILABLE ON AUCTION: unsure why this one came down, it’s possible that David withdrew this one, no idea why.  UPDATE: David confirmed in a Q&A that the sitar was removed from the auction due to the presence of ivory in its construction, which is illegal to ship to certain countries, namely the United States.

5. Dick Knight acoustic 1969 Fun fact: Dick Knight also built the short-lived doubleneck strat David briefly used in 1972, having also built three of the famous doublenecks used by Genesis bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford.

6. Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul 1970 (red burst, heavily modded)

7. Rickenbacker 360-12 1973 (fireglo) Possibly the one he’s briefly seen noodling on in the Wider Horizons documentary.

8. Jedson lap steel 1974 (cream) Longtime live instrument; acquired in 1974 along with a red one; both were used for many years, the red one apparently still being active since it’s not in the auction. There were two so that one could be in open E minor and the other could be in an open G6, but for the first two years they used the pair so that one could be in David’s rig, and the other could be at Rick’s keyboards, allowing David to play steel and Hammond organ on The Great Gig In The Sky. Later used exclusively for Great Gig on the Momentary Lapse tour and the first part of the Division Bell tour, with the red being for One Of These Days and High Hopes. It was retired partway during the latter tour in favour of a Fender Deluxe 6 steel, which the Jedsons are copies of. One of the legs has some damage from when David used it to break open his jammed hotel room door in the 80s.

9. Smith Guitars Mell-O-Bar standing steel guitar 1970 (sunburst) Weird lap steel designed to played strapped on and standing up like a standard guitar.

10. ZB SS10 pedal steel 1977 (blue) Used on The Wall, probably at the beginning of Comfortably Numb.

11. Martin D12-28 12-string acoustic 1971 Famously used to both write and record Wish You Were Here.

12. Ovation Pacemaker 1615-4 12-string 1975 Used by Snowy White on Animals and The Wall tours.

13. Gretsch Silver Jet 1957 (silver sparkle)

14. Fender Precision Bass 1952 (blonde) Apparently used extensively in the studio, but there’s no clear record of where since David always recorded bass parts at home by himself.

15. Gretsch Synchromatic 400 archtop 1940

16. Vox Guitar Organ 1967 (white) Truly bizarre instrument, never heard David actually play it.

17. Ovation Legend 1619-4 acoustic (high-strung) THE “HEY YOU/COMFORTABLY NUMB” ACOUSTIC: originally the acoustic used by Roger on the Animals tour; later restrung in a mutant version of Nashville tuning and famously used on Hey You and Comfortably Numb, the latter of which both David and Lee Ritenour recorded on it; brought along on nearly every tour since for the second guitarist to use on those songs; has been played live by Snowy White, Andy Roberts, Mick Ralphs, Tim Renwick, Phil Manzanera, Guy Pratt and Chester Kamen, all to play Comfortably Numb at the very least; used live by David himself on Comfortably Numb during his semi-acoustic series of concerts in 2001 and 2002.

18. Fender Jazzmaster 1959 (blonde)

19. Fender Jaguar 1962 (foam green)

20. Fender Stratocaster 1954 (white/gold pickguard) THE #1 STRAT: serial #0001; not the first strat ever made, but from the first year of production and still notable for it’s serial number. Most famously used on Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2 for the rhythm guitar part. Also used by Snowy White on Richard Wright’s first solo album, 1978’s Wet Dream. That same year, it can be spotted in the promo film for David’s first album, not actually used but among the guitars set aside for rhythm guitarist Mark Gilmour, David’s brother. Rarely used live due to its value, but prominently used by David at the 2004 Strat Pack concert, celebrating 50 years of the Fender Stratocaster; he used it for Marooned and Coming Back To Life before switching to the Red Strat for Sorrow.

21. Fred Stuart Fender Stratocaster copy 2013 (white) Recreation of the famous #0001 Strat.

22. Rickenbacker NS Model 100 lap steel c. 1937-1943 (chrome) One of the earliest ever examples of an electric guitar.

23. Rickenbacker 365 (fireglo)

24. Fender Esquire 1951 (blonde)

25. Fender Stratocaster 1954 (two-tone sunburst)

26. Ovation Preacher 1283-5 1978 (black/black pickguard)

27. Ovation Preacher 12-string electric 1285-5, 1978 (black/white pearloid pickguard)

28. Zemaitis acoustic fretless bass guitar 1978

29. Fender 4-string electric mandolin 1957 (three-tone sunburst) Similar to the Electra mandolin he used on the Wall tour, but this is not the same instrument.

30. Fender Bass VI 1963 (candy apple red) Used on The Wall, namely on Run Like Hell.

31. Fender Broadcaster 1950 (blonde) Rare, sought-after Fender Broadcaster from when they were still able to call it the Broadcaster; Gretsch took issue with this name, forcing Fender to remove the name off their remaining headstocks, resulting in a small number of “Nocasters”; Fender then settled on the now-ubiquitous name Telecaster.

32. Fender Telecaster 1952 (blonde)

33. Gibson Everly Brothers J-180 acoustic 1963 (black/red tortoiseshell double pickguard) Another one of David’s favourite acoustics.

34. Gibson Les Paul 1955 (goldtop/gold neck, P90 pickups) THE “ANOTHER BRICK” LES PAUL: used for famous solo on Another Brick In The Wall pt. 2 and others, appeared onstage during the Wall tour; later used on tracks from A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell; last used live a benefit concert at Cowdray Park in 2002, where David played it in a Beatles medley joined by Bob Geldof and Mike Rutherford; also used in 2005 teaser video for forthcoming On An Island album, where David performed Island Jam.

35. Gibson Les Paul Custom 1959 (black/triple humbucker pickups) Replacement for Gilmour’s original custom that had been stolen.

36. Ampeg Dan Armstrong 1969 (transparent lucite body)

37. Valco National Val-Pro 1964 (black)

38. Danelectro Coral electric sitar c. 1967-1969 (red)

39. Dobro Model 27 resonator guitar 1933

40. Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 hollowbody electric 1960/61 (orange)

41. Gretsch Duo Jet 6128 double cutaway c. 1963 (champagne sparkle)

42. Gretsch Jet Firebird 6131 1955 (red)

43. Gretsch White Falcon 6136 1957 (white)

44. Gretsch White Penguin 6134 1958 (white) An exceedingly rare and valuable Gretsch model, of which only 50 exist at most; if not for the association that all of these instruments have with David Gilmour and Pink Floyd, this would likely be the most valuable guitar in the entire auction just in its own right.

45. Ovation Classic 1613-4 nylon string acoustic 1976 Used on The Wall tour for Goodbye Blue Sky and Is There Anybody Out There?

46. Ovation Legend 1619-4 acoustic 1976 Spare for Roger’s Ovation on Animals tour, used as main by Waters on The Wall tour, by Gilmour on About Face tour, then re-strung left handed and high-strung for Joao Mello on Rattle That Lock tour.

47. Charvel fretless bass guitar 1982 (red-burst) No, this isn’t the Hey You bass, but it was used on A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell, including High Hopes; can be seen in the background hanging on the wall during his interview in the documentary The Pink Floyd And Syd Barrett Story.

48. Roger Giffin custom headless electric 1983 (maroon natural) Short scale guitar strung in a similar manner to if a capo was placed on the third fret of a standard guitar; David had this built for him after seeing that Andy Roberts (from the 1981 leg of the Wall tour) had one; used on the About Face tour on Cruise.

49. Fender Broadcaster 1950 (blonde, more worn than the one in lot 31) Pretty incredible, though not surprising, that David owned two Broadcasters.

50. Fender Stratocaster 1957 (blue) (known as the “Ex-Homer Haynes” strat) Guitar prominently used by country/jazz guitarist Homer Haynes, in a custom blue colour that Fender only did by special order at the time; found its way into David’s collection since Haynes’s death.

51. Fender Stratocaster w. Charvel neck 1984 (black/black pickguard) Built as a spare for the Black Strat in its 1984 state; includes a Kahler tremolo system, just like the Black Strat had at the time before it fell out of favour and was removed, with the scars to prove it.

52. Washburn SBF-26 solid-body acoustic 1982 Used on About Face tour on Near The End.

53. Fender Stratocaster 1983 w. 1989 neck (cream) Main guitar from the About Face tour; used early on the Momentary Lapse tour as an alternate main before the Red Strat ultimately took full precedence; subsequently used as a second spare for the Red Strat, behind another red strat; used by Tim Renwick at Live 8 reunion, and last used by Guy Pratt on Then I Close My Eyes on the On An Island tour; now has the neck that Gilmour had on the Black Strat at Live 8, its original neck now being fitted on the Black Strat.

54. Gibson Les Paul TV 1960 (yellow) Replacement for one that got stolen, used by Chester Kamen on Rattle That Lock tour.

55. Fender Stratocaster 1957 re-issue w. EMG and synth pickups 1983 w. 2004 mods (two-tone sunburst) Used at Live Aid during Bryan Ferry set, died almost immediately during show and was swapped with the first ever appearance of the Red Strat.

56. Fender Stratocaster 1957 re-issue w. EMG pickup system 1984 (candy apple red) THE RED STRAT: Gilmour’s 2nd most prominent instrument, used as his main from the late 1980s through the 1990s; originally purchased during the About Face tour but not used; first seen live at Live Aid in 1985 when playing with Bryan Ferry, ironically as a spare guitar after the sunburst one died on the first song; emerged during the Momentary Lapse tour as David’s primary strat, having retired the Black Strat at the time, and used again on the Division Bell tour and nearly every other album and show in that period; used in rehearsals for Pink Floyd’s Live 8 reunion in 2005, until Phil Taylor suggested the Black Strat instead, resulting in the latter’s return to prominence; last used on the On An Island tour in 2006 on Shine On You Crazy Diamond and occasionally Wearing The Inside Out, and otherwise serving as a spare for the Black Strat.

57. Two Fender Concert amplifiers 1982 and 1983 Used in David’s studio and stage rig in 1985, including both Live Aid and David’s work with Pete Townshend’s Deep End.

58. Washburn Mirage Deluxe solid-body acoustic 1983 Used by Mick Ralphs on the About Face tour; similar to the blue one that Roger Waters used in the 80s.

59. Mario Maccaferri GA-40 Deluxe acoustic 1950 (white with F-holes)

60. Brynn A. Hiscox custom acoustic 1984 Rounded back similar to a lute or Ovation guitar.

61. Bond Electraglide prototype 1982 (white/black pickguard)

62. Wilkes Guitars The Answer 1986 (candy apple red/strat style with sliding pickups)

63. Overwater C Bass fretless 1984 (natural brown) Fretless bass designed to be tuned with C as the lowest note without it being a 5-string.

64. National Double 8 Console lap steel 1940 (black/doubleneck 8/8 string)

65. Charvel San Dimas electric 1981 (brown burst/single pickup) Used at select Deep End shows with Pete Townshend, 1986 Columbia Volcano Appeal concert, and rehearsals for 1987 tour.

66. Gallien-Krueger 250ML amp 1986 Used on A Momentary Lapse of Reason.

67. Gibson J200 Celebrity acoustic 1986 Gilmour’s main acoustic on The Division Bell album and tour, later used on WYWH at Live 8 reunion.

68. Takamine EN-28 acoustic 1986 Used on the Momentary Lapse tours for Wish You Were Here.

69. Fender Telecaster 1952 re-issue 1987 (blonde) Spare for the Run Like Hell tele used on Momentary Lapse and Division Bell tours (the actual Telecaster used is not being sold.)

70. Steinberger GL 3T 1986 (white) Used on A Momentary Lapse of Reason and played at Secret Policeman’s Ball performance with Kate Bush.

71. Steinberger GM 3T 1987 (black/fuller bodied than the white one) Used in SNL appearance and Rock Aid recording of Smoke On The Water.

72. Fender Stratocaster w. Lace Sensor pickups 1987 (pink) Given to David Gilmour because Fender’s Custom Shop didn’t know what else to do with this butt-ugly strat.

73. Gibson Les Paul Custom 1988 (black) Presented to David by Les Paul in 1988 at a Les Paul tribute show, where he played it in an all-star jam.

74. Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster 1989 (pale blue) Used in a French & Saunders comedy sketch, where he struggles to play Another Brick In The Wall pt. 2 due to an instruction book that lacks chord diagrams; interestingly, Mark Knopfler uses David’s Red Strat in the same sketch, playing the riff from Money For Nothing before meeting the same problem.

75. National Reso-phonic R-1 resonator solid-body 1991 (red)

76. Rickenbacker 360 V63 electric 12-string 1991 (fireglo)

77. Martin D-2832L left-handed acoustic 1989 David owned this so his left-handed friend, the late authour Douglas Adams, had an acoustic guitar to play while visiting the Gilmours.

78. Gibson FJ-N acoustic 1966

79. Gibson J-200 Celebrity acoustic 1985 Used on Poles Apart in DADGAD tuning both in studio and onstage.

80. Fender Telecaster 52V 1993 (blonde) Used on Division Bell tour for Astronomy Domine.

81. Gibson Chet Atkins CE solidbody classical 1993 Used by Gilmour on High Hopes on the Division Bell tour, and then by Chester Kamen on the same song for the Rattle That Lock tour.

82. Gibson Chet Atkins CEC solidbody classical 1993 Used by Tim Renwick on High Hopes on the Division Bell tour, then used as a spare on Rattle That Lock tour.

83. National Tricone Style 3 resonator 1928 (chrome)

84. Jose Vilaplana classical 1979 Used to record High Hopes on The Division Bell; used live on High Hopes in the 2001-2002 series of semi-acoustic concerts.

85. Martin D-28E prototype acoustic 2001 With soundhole pickup; main acoustic guitar at the 2002 set of semi-acoustic concerts.

86. Martin D-28E prototype acoustic 2001 Spare for the other D-28E (lot 85) at the 2002 concerts, this one lacking the soundhole pickup of the other one.

87. Taylor 712-CE acoustic 2001 Main acoustic guitar at 2001 Meltdown Festival concert, which began the series of semi-acoustic concerts.

88. Takamine FP400S 12-string acoustic 1994 Spare on The Division Bell tour, used by Neil MacColl in 2001-2002 series of semi-acoustic concerts, and by Tim Renwick at Pink Floyd reunion at Live 8 in 2005.

89. Takamine CD 132S classical 1999 Used by Neil MacColl on High Hopes at semi-acoustic concerts 2001-2002.

90. Takamine NP-15C acoustic 1994 Used as a high-string guitar for Comfortably Numb by Tim Renwick during Division Bell tour at certain shows, instead of the Ovation for some reason; this includes the show on the PULSE DVD, where it can be spotted if you look closely enough; also used by Neil MacColl at 2001-2002 semi-acoustic shows on the same song; now restrung normally.

91. Takamine EN 60C classical Spare classical guitar for 2001-2002 concerts and Rattle That Lock tour.

92. Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster 2005 (gold leaf)

93. Fender Stratocaster 57V 1984 (black/white pickguard) Borrowed and played by George Harrison in 1988, used by Phil Manzanera during On An Island tour as a main, and by Jon Carin on Rattle That Lock tour.

94. Fender Stratocaster 57V 1986 (two-tone sunburst) Used to record The Blue from On An Island, also used by Ringo Starr in 2003 on his Ringo Rama album.

95. Gibson Les Paul Heritage Elite 1981 (tobacco sunburst, with Stetsbar tailpiece)

96. Gibson Country Western acoustic 1958 w. LR Baggs pickup Main acoustic for On An Island and Rattle That Lock tours.

97. Gibson Country Western acoustic 1959 Spare for 1958 model (lot 96) before being used by Phil Manzanera on On An Island tour, returned as spare on Rattle That Lock tour.

98. Taylor 354-CE 12-string acoustic 2005 Used by Chester Kamen on Rattle That Lock tour.

99. Taylor 355-CE 12-string acoustic 2006 Used by Phil Manzanera on On An Island and Rattle That Lock tours.

100. Gretsch Duo Jet 2005 (black) Spare for the main Duo Jet on On An Island tour.

101. Fender Stratocaster 57V 2006 (candy apple red) Equipped with stock pickups, unlike the famous Red Strat.

102. Hofner 500/1 “Beatle Bass” 1963-65 (brown) Seen being used by Guy Pratt during the Barn Jam sessions in 2007.

103. Guild F512 12-string acoustic (natural)

104. Guild F412 12-string acoustic (sunburst) Used in an interview for BBC’s
The Story Of The Guitar in 2008.

105. Fender Esquire Custom Shop Relic 2007 (white, includes neck pickup) Replacement for Esquire used on On An Island tour, which had been gifted to David’s son Charlie later that Christmas.

106. Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster 2007 (black/white pickguard) Testing platform.

107. Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster 2005 (black/white pickguard)

108. Fender Stratocaster 57V 2007 (black/white pickguard, handwritten notes all over backplate) Testing platform.

109. Fender 5-String Precision Bass 2008 (black/white pickguard)

110. Fender Jeff Beck Signature Stratocaster 2008 (white) Acquired for Jeff Beck to use at Richard Wright’s 2008 funeral out of concern that his gear wasn’t available, used as spare instead when that turned out not to be the case, subsequently kept by David.

111. Gibson Costello Century acoustic 2008 (black and red)

112. Gibson Les Paul 1953 (goltop, P90 pickups and Bigsby tremolo) Spare for similar 1956 Les Paul on On An Island and Rattle That Lock tours.

113. Gretsch Chet Atkins 6121 1957 (orange) Used on the Nervana bonus track from The Endless River.

114. Fender Telecaster Custom Baritone 2010 (black with Bigsby tremolo) Custom built, used on The Endless River on It’s What We Do, and by Chester Kamen on Rattle That Lock tour for One Of These Days and Run Like Hell.

115. Nash T-52 Fender 1952 Telecaster copy 2007 (blonde) David’s dressing room guitar during the Rattle That Lock in Europe and North America.

116. Martin 0-28VS acoustic 2015 Used by Phil Manzanera and then Chester Kamen on the Rattle That Lock tour, also played by David at some of Polly Samson’s literary events.

117. Gibson ES-330 2013 (sunburst w. P90 pickups) Used by Jon Carin on Rattle That Lock tour.

118. Gibson Les Paul Historic 57 2009 (goldtop, Bigsby tremolo) Custom built, similar to his 1956 Goldtop except with PAF humbuckers instead of P90s, used on Rattle That Lock.

119. Takamine EF-400S 12-string acoustic 1986 Used on Momentary Lapse tour by both David (Welcome To The Machine) and Tim Renwick (Wish You Were Here); later set up as a 9-string by excluding the higher strings in the top three pairs, in order to play Wish You Were Here alone at Storm Thorgerson’s funeral; currently strung as a 9-string.

120. Fender Coronado II 1967 (wildwood) History with David unknown, this guitar is the only one with no lot essay in the entire auction.

121. Fender David Gilmour Signature Stratocaster prototype 2007 (black/black pickguard) Prototype number 3 of 5.

122. Fender David Gilmour Signature Stratocaster, Custom Shop Relic 2012 (black/black pickguard)

123. Fender David Gilmour Signature Stratocaster, Custom Shop NOS left-handed 2013 (black/black pickguard) Basically a left-handed Black Strat, probably built as a proof-of-concept considering David doesn’t play lefty; originally supplied with a righty tremolo arm and righty volume and tone pots, all of which had to be replaced.

124. Fender David Gilmour Signature Stratocaster, Custom Shop Relic 2014 (black/black pickguard)

125. Fender David Gilmour Signature Stratocaster, Custom Shop NOS 2014 (black/black pickguard)

126. Packhorse Guitar Flightcase Used to transport the Black Strat in the 1980s.

127. Fender Stratocaster 1969 w/ 1983 neck (black/black pickguard) THE BLACK STRAT: considered the holy grail of Gilmour’s collection and this auction; David’s primary guitar for the majority of his long career; originally purchased in 1970 to replace stolen guitars; underwent many, many modifications including pickguard change (original was white), numerous neck and pickup swaps, a mini-toggle switch to engage the neck pickup allowing any pickup combo, and many body scars from experiments that didn’t stick; used as main on every Pink Floyd album and tour from 1970 to 1983, used as drop-D guitar on About Face tour (during which it had a Kahler tremolo which later fell out of favour), then retired to the Hard Rock Cafe for ten years until requested back; returned to live use at Pink Floyd’s triumphant Live 8 reunion in 2005, after which it returned indefinitely as David’s main guitar in both the studio and on stage; backline tech Phil Taylor has written a book about its storied history.