Renowned Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler is parting ways with 120 of his cherished guitars, each with its own musical history, in an upcoming auction set to take place in London on January 31.
The collection, which Knopfler affectionately refers to as “old friends,” spans a variety of guitars and amplifiers. Among the items up for grabs, estimated prices range from £300 (€343) for an electric-acoustic mandolin to an impressive £500,000 (€572,000) for a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard featuring a distinctive cherry red sunburst finish.
One notable piece in the auction is a 1983 Les Paul that Knopfler played on Dire Straits’ iconic 1985 album ‘Brothers in Arms’ and also wielded on stage during the memorable Live Aid performance that same year. The estimated price for this piece stands between £10,000 – £15,000 (€11,000 – €17,000).
Expressing his sentiment about parting with the collection, Knopfler shared that the guitars were the culmination of his 60-year “love affair” with these instruments. While acknowledging the sadness of bidding farewell, he emphasized that it was time to pass on these “treasured six-string companions” to new owners.
A significant aspect of this auction is that a quarter of the total proceeds will be donated to charitable causes. Beneficiaries include the British Red Cross, Brave Hearts of the North East, and the Tusk Trust Limited.
The guitars have been showcased to the public at Christie’s New York showroom throughout December and, subsequently, at the auctioneer’s London headquarters this month. As these instruments find new homes, Knopfler extends his best wishes to fellow players, enthusiasts, and collectors who will continue the legacy of these musical artifacts.