Ed Sheeran’s Fender Stratocaster at Bonhams 10 December Entertainment Memorabilia Sale

Ed Sheeran’s Fender Stratocaster 
estimated at £4,000-6,000
  • Bonhams offer one of the first Ed Sheeran collectors’ items to come to auction, a ‘Green T’ Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, designed by a British contemporary artist
  • Celebrities add the ‘wow’ factor for musical instruments, with guitars routinely increasing in value when connected with a celebrity
  • Bonhams frequently offer rare guitars played by famous artists, including John Lennon, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain and Chris Martin
  • Bonhams 10 December Entertainment Memorabilia Sale also features a guitar from Pete Townsend, and the Gibson Les Paul originally owned by the late Paul Kossoff
Ed Sheeran’s exceptional musical talent has seen him rise to fame and fortune, with hits including ‘Sing’, ‘Thinking Out Loud’, ‘The A Team’, and ‘Bloodstream’.
Bonhams 10 December Entertainment Memorabilia Sale features one of the first Ed Sheeran collectors’ items to come to auction, a ‘Green T’ Fender Stratocaster, offered with the estimate of £4,000-6,000.

The guitar was loaned to the musician by Teddy M, a British contemporary artist, and Sheeran subsequently strummed the Stratocaster on his ‘X’ world tour whilst performing the track ‘Thinking Out Loud’. The tour took him to over 15 countries, and included a live televised performance from Central Park, New York City, for Good Morning America’s Summer Concert in May 2015.
Guitars can sell for considerably more than the market value of the instrument if they’ve been in the hands of a celebrity. Whilst a Fender Stratocaster can be bought new for approximately £1,500, the Ed Sheeran Stratocaster offered at Bonhams is estimated at £4,000-6,000 – an increase of 166%.
“The celebrity factor can see the initial value of an instrument multiply to many times its estimate,” said Natalie Downing, Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Specialist. “For example, a used Vincente Tatay Thomas acoustic guitar will generally fetch around £250. The same model sold at Bonhams for £18,750 – that’s an increase of 7,400%. The model in question was originally owned by Chris Martin, lead-singer of Coldplay, which is why it saw such an astronomical rise in value.”
Ed Sheeran is a young, talented, successful recording artist. He recently launched his own record label, is friends with Taylor Swift, dabbles in acting, and has just earned his stripes as a presenter at the MTV Europe Music Awards, co-presenting with Australian model and actress, Ruby Rose. In 2015 alone he won an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Live Act, beating Katie Perry, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and the Foo Fighters, and an MTV Europe Music Award for Best World Stage Performance.

“We expect Sheeran’s popularity amongst his fans will mean many of them will delight in the opportunity to take home something that has a connection to him. We look forward to seeing how the market develops for his items at auction.”
There are certain factors worth considering when anticipating the value of a musical instrument. “There are always going to be some artists who are more popular for collectors than others,” says Bonhams Entertainment Consultant, Stephen Maycock. “Eric Clapton, for example, has been a successful recording artist for 50 years – in that time, you build up quite a following.
“However, this isn’t exclusive to ‘legends’ of rock and pop, memorabilia connected to modern musicians can also have that appeal. Much like a contemporary artwork versus an historic, old master painting, there is a bidder for each area of taste and style.”
Top 5 ‘star’ factors for celebrity guitars:
  1. Artist: An instrument owned by a one-hit-wonder won’t bring bidders to the room. Legends of rock, queens of pop, icons of an era – the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Madonna, Oasis, Abba, Jimmy Hendrix – are some of the most popular artists in the auction room.
  1. Ownership: Ideally the guitar will either be currently owned by, once have been owned by, or played on several occasions by the artist. A signature is desirable, but ownership more so – buyers want to feel the frets their idol once thumbed, and take home the instrument their hero adored. Joan Jett once said: “My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am.” An auction provides fans with the opportunity to take home a part of their favourite musician’s legacy.
  1. Condition: If the instrument is still playable, it adds to the appeal. The new owner can play their hero’s songs, on their hero’s guitar – not much beats that.
  1. Rarity: If the instrument itself is limited edition, or perhaps the artist had just one special guitar they used whilst in concert, that will increase the popularity, and subsequently the premium.
  1. Cool factor: Was this the guitar used during a particularly momentous occasion in musical history?
Slash, Guns N’ Roses lead-guitarist, once said, “Guitars are like women. You’ll never get them totally right,” – personal preference is always a factor. “Electric guitars are usually more desirable at auction, they’re just a bit sexier, and they’ve produced the great riffs of rock music,” says Stephen Maycock.
Bonhams record breaking Entertainment Memorabilia department regularly offer rare and exciting musical instruments, the majority of them guitars.
Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead) A Jerry Garcia electric guitar by Travis Bean, circa 1975
8 May 2007
Pete Townsend (The Who) Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2, circa late 1967,
25 June 2014
Robert Smith (The Cure) The Cure: A Schecter RS 1000 guitar in black gloss finish owned and played by Robert Smith,
18 December 2013
Eric Clapton A Martin 000-28 EC Eric Clapton signature model acoustic guitar, formerly owned by Eric Clapton
15 December 2011
Chris Martin (Coldplay) Chris Martin / Coldplay: Chris Martin’s first guitar used during the recording of Parachutes, circa. 1996,
24 June 2015
Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) Popular Music Memorabilia Roger Waters: a Fender Precision bass guitar,
3 July 2012
Angus Young (AC/DC) AC/DC: An Angus Young used and autographed Gibson SG guitar
3 July 2012
Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones) Mick Jagger’s Kramer semi-acoustic guitar
16 June 2009
Paul Stanley (Kiss) Original Paul Stanley Kiss guitar used on the Alive! Worldwide Reunion Tour, 1996-1997
14 December 2011
Bonhams 10th December Entertainment Memorabilia Sale will see over 200 lots of exciting memorabilia go under the hammer. The sale takes place at Bonhams Knightsbridge salerooms. For further information, visit: https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22818/?department=COL-ENT

Mamma Mia! The ABBA Grand Piano Comes to Auction at Sotheby’s This Fall

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The Rock & Pop sale will bring exceptional pieces of popular music history to auction in London on 29 September 2015, including instruments, lyrics, photographs, stage clothing and rare association items.

Highlights of the sale include the “ABBA Grand” piano, made by Georg Bolin, played by Bill Evans, and most significantly used in almost all of ABBA’s studio recordings 1973-1977 (lot 37); instruments, clothing and manuscripts from the collection of the legendary bassist Jack Bruce (lots 1 -36); and Eric Clapton’s Fender Stratocaster in Daphne blue (lot 66).Schermata 2015-09-28 alle 09.24.59

In addition, we are delighted to be offering the October 1962 management contract for The Beatles (lot 42). Signed only days before the release of the band’s first single, this contract is the only managerial contract signed by both the final line-up of the Beatles including Ringo Starr and their manager (the “fifth Beatle”) Brian Epstein.

The sale also features a strong selection of Bob Dylan material, including the revised typescript lyrics for ‘It’s a Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’, a highly important working draft (lot 71). This follows the success of our New York A Rock and Roll History sale last year, where Bob Dylan’s autograph manuscript for ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ set a new record for not just material by Dylan but for any popular music lyrics sold at auction.

More info on Sotheby’s

Chris Martin very first acoustic guitar for sale at Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Sale

9148446-1-2Coldplay front man’s acoustic guitar used on debut album Parachutes is now offered at £7,000-9,000

Chris Martin’s very first acoustic guitar, used during the recording of Coldplay’s UK no.1 hit album Parachutes, will be offered at Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Sale, taking place 24 June at Bonhams Knightsbridge.

Martin purchased the Vicente Tatay Tomas acoustic from Bill Greenhalgh’s music shop in his hometown of Exeter. Martin took this guitar with him when he moved to London to study at UCL (University College London) in September 1996. This was where Chris met Jonny Buckland at their university ‘freshers’ week, following which the pair planned to form a band over the coming year, resulting in the formation of Coldplay. Martin used this guitar during the composition of many of Coldplay’s earliest songs, and during the recording of their pioneering debut album Parachutes. It’s now offered at estimate £7,000-9,000.

Natalie Downing, Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Specialist, said: “Musical instruments regularly produce excellent prices at Bonhams, so with many featured in the sale, it’s a great opportunity for collectors and fans to take home items that their musical heroes may once have played.”

Two album cover artworks signed by the members of Coldplay will also be offered. Lot 251 is a mixed media collage of the album Ghost Stories (estimated at £3,000-5,000), and lot 250 is a mixed media collage of the album Magic (lot 250, estimate £2,000-3,000).

Further guitars with excellent musical provenance include a Lowden Acoustic (£5,000-7,000), and a Fender Stratocaster (£4,000-6,000), both used for the recording of Eric Clapton’s 1998 song, My Father’s Eyes.


Eric Clapton: lot 161 – A Fender Stratocaster (£4,000-6,000), and lot 163 – A Lowden acoustic

Elsewhere, Jerry Scheff, the bassist from Elvis Presley’s TCB band, is offering his Fender Precision Bass guitar, estimated at £4,000-5,000. It was the main guitar Scheff used whilst performing with Elvis Presley’s TCB Band for concerts in the 1970s, and for studio work in the 1980s.


A collection of six artworks by Ginger Baker, member of the British rock band Cream, will also be offered. Produced by Baker at the height of his fame, the earliest pieces include an untitled alien landscape (lot 155, estimate £1,500-2,500), a pair of self-portrait sketches (lot 157, estimate £800-1,200), and an additional alien landscape (lot 158, estimate £1,500-2,500), all circa 1964.


Lot 159: Ginger Baker, ‘Untitled’ Go West, circa 1968 – estimate £1,000-2,000

Further sale highlights include a rare black and gold-label, stereo pressing of The Beatles 1963 album Please Please Me, estimated at £7,500-8,000, and a JCM Slash signature Marshall amp and speaker used by Slash (of Guns N’ Roses fame) on stage, estimated at £3,000-5,000.

For further information on Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Sales, visit: https://www.bonhams.com/departments/COL-ENT/