In what might well be the most diverse assemblage of collectible guitars ever presented, Guernsey's will be conducting its next Guitar Auction on February 27 live at New York City's East 73rd Street Bohemian National Hall and online at both www.liveauctioneers.com and www.invaluable.com.
The event will be featuring several private collections including approximately 20 instruments coming directly from the great guitarist, George Benson. From the noted Henry Lowenstein Collection will be a presentation of early (and extremely rare) guitars and mandolins made by Joseph Bohmann, while the collection of more than forty guitars from the late arranger and jazz musician Robert Yelin features pristine examples by Gibson, D'Angelico, Benedetto, and Buscarino. Though less well-known than a fine company like Martin (of which there will be many instruments in the auction), guitars from the Larson Bros. have long been coveted by collectors. This auction will be featuring an assortment of these almost impossible-to-find instruments.
Among the many guitars worth noting is a guitar signed and played by Richie Sambora, and a yellow and black instrument ordered, owned and played by Eddie Van Halen and then seen with him in an Entertainment Tonight video. In the early 1980's, Eddie famous for playing extraordinary looking Charvel guitars customized just for him.
The approximately three hundred lots in the sale are roughly divided equally between fine acoustic instruments dating as far back as 1880 right through beautiful, recently-made examples, and sensational electric guitars, many of which are associated with well-known musicians. Bidders will encounter instruments from Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tony Mottola (accompanying Frank Sinatra) and Franny Beecher who, following years with Benny Goodman's big band, became the lead guitarist for the legendary Bill Haley and the Comets. The "In Cold Blood" pair of guitars in the auction must constitute one of the most unusual musical offerings ever: those who vividly recall the legendary Truman Capote book and movie will remember that Perry Smith, the much-analyzed killer, toted his guitar everywhere. A single lot in this auction will contain both the instrument used by Robert Blake playing the role of Smith in the Academy Award-winning film, and the actual guitar used by the real-life killer!
Millions upon millions of fans around the world have thrilled to George Benson's performances over the past half-century. Indeed, recent appearances at such noteworthy venues as London's Royal Albert Hall and Paris' Olympia Theater have sold out within minutes. With survey after survey listing Benson as perhaps the finest guitarist alive today, it would only be logical that he would own exceptional instruments. Among the many treasures coming directly from George's vault will be "one-off" examples made expressly for him by Ibanez and played by him on recordings and on stage.
The sampling above is just that… a small sampling of a wildly diverse collection of rare, very special instruments. All are encouraged to visit www.guernseys.com or call Guernsey's (212-794-2280) for a more complete roster for the upcoming event. Over the last four decades, the NYC-based auction house has been known for producing many record-breaking sales. Those who are considering parting with an exceptional instrument are encouraged to contact Guernsey's immediately as there may be an opportunity to include it in what will certainly be a terrific event.
Those who are unable to attend the auction but would like to participate can view the full catalogue online, and leave advance absentee bids, as well as bid live as the sale is taking place at www.liveauctioneers.com and www.invaluable.com.
Guernsey's welcomes inquiries from the media regarding both past and upcoming events. PDF copies of the press release and links to media coverage of our Guitar Auction are available below: