Mark Knopfler is set to auction more than 120 guitars and amplifiers from his own personal collection early next year, with a portion of the proceeds going to a number of charities – including one in the North East. The guitar legend is giving 25 per cent of the profits from the auction to The British Red Cross, Tusk and Brave Hearts of the North East.
Announcing the auction on social media, Dire Straits – whom Knopfler was famously a frontman for – wrote: “The Mark Knopfler Guitar Collection | Christie’s Live Auction, London | 31st January 2024 @ChristiesInc is delighted to announce the auction of guitars from the personal collection of @MarkKnopfler, the celebrated frontman of the iconic British rock band, Dire Straits.
“Comprising more than 120 guitars and amps, the collection spans Mark’s 50-year career and chronicles the diverse array of instruments used to write, record and perform songs for Dire Straits, as well as his own solo albums and film soundtracks.”
Speaking on the auction, the 74-year-old, said: “Wherever I go I’m still crossing streets to look at guitars in the windows of music shops. I’ve done that since I was a little kid. I’ve lived with this love affair for over sixty years. That has meant a passion for all kinds of guitars: the impossible dreams and plenty of the less expensive ones too.
“As a career in music made it possible for me to realise some of those dreams, guitars of all shapes and sizes began to appear. It’s time to take some of these treasured six-string companions out of their cases and leave them in the care of Christie’s to allow them to have new adventures with new owners.
“You can be sure I’ll be sad to see them go but we’ve had wonderful times together and I can’t play them all. To you fellow players, enthusiasts and collectors, I wish you many good times with these old friends of mine.”
The collection in its entirety spans the 50-year career of ‘one of the world’s most influential musicians’ – and sports a diverse array of guitars and amps Knopfler used to write, record and perform compositions for Dire Straits, as well as his solo albums and film soundtracks.
The archive includes some of the most ‘iconic and world-famous’ household names in the world of music like Gibson, Fender and Martin, while custom-built models by Rudy Pensa and John Surh are also included. Pieces of interest in particular include Knopfler’s £300,000 1959 Gibson Kalamazoo Michigan, with a stunning sunburst finish, as well as a 1988 Pensa-Suhr New York worth between £6,000 and £8,000.
There are a number of both electric and acoustic guitars on offer in the auction – in collaboration with Christies – which will take place in London come January 31, 2024.
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