Actor Richard Gere has decided to sell his guitar collection at Christies New York in October. The sale will offer approximately 110 lots, which will include a range of vintage American guitars, including models by Martin, Gibson, Fender, Gretsch and Epiphone models, and a selection of amplifiers, as well as iconic guitars that belonged to Albert King, Peter Tosh and James D’Aquisto. The sale is expected to realize in the region of $1,000,000.
As a leading Hollywood figure, Richard Gere is known for many iconic performances over the years, but he is also an accomplished musician and played in such films as Cotton Club and Pretty Woman among others. Mr. Gere studied trumpet, and he is a self-taught pianist and guitarist who has played since his youth. With a passion for American vintage guitars, Gere amassed a personal collection built upon their playability and craftsmanship. Kept and played in his home and office, the collection has been under wraps until now.
Richard Gere said: â€œIâ€™ve had a love affair with guitars since I was a kid. They have been my true friends through the best and worst of times. I never planned to put together a collection, I just bought ones that I liked, the ones that sounded good and played well. Some are very special. Although itâ€™s more than a little painful to let them go, each one has been played, loved and appreciated- and will be again. All my proceeds from this sale will go to support humanitarian causes around the world.â€
Kerry Keane, Head of Musical Instruments Department, said: “Each guitar in this sale began as an instrument that Richard Gere purchased for himself, because he saw something brilliant, whether it was for its tonal quality, playability or sheer beauty. What transpired over a lifetime is an almost encyclopedic representation of American guitar making. This is an exciting opportunity for collectors and fans alike to take advantage of Mr. Gereâ€™s unrecognized talent for creating a cohesive collection.”
- 1931 Martin D-28, Estimate: $50,000-70,000 The first Style D-28 designated by the C.F. Martin Company
- 1985 Gibson Flying V, Estimate: $60,000-90,000 Documented as a pre-production prototype by Gibson Incorporated, the guitar was formally the property of Albert King.
- 1935 John Dâ€™Angelico Archtop, Estimate: $10,000-15,000 Formerly the property of James Dâ€™ Aquisto
- 1953 Fender Telecaster, Estimate: $15,000-25,000
- 1960 Gibson ES-335 TD, Estimate: $20,000-30,000
- 1954 Fender Stratocaster, Estimate: $30,000-40,000
Further details of the sale and catalogues will be available by mid-September 2011.