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Richard Gere

Richard Gere’s Guitar Collection Raises Nearly $1 Million at Auction

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A collection of vintage guitars owned by the Hollywood actor Richard Gere has been sold at a Christie’s auction in New York. The sale featured 107 lots, including guitars and amplifiers, which Gere had amassed over a 20-year period. In all the sale raised $936,438, with all but 4% of the lots sold.

The sale’s top-selling lot was a classic 1960 Gibson Les Paul, which beat its pre-sale estimate of up to $90,000 to sell for $98,500 to an anonymous bidder. Other notable lots included a 1931 Martin D- 28 acoustic model which sold for $62,500, a 1958 Gibson Flying V which sold for $74,500 and a 1934 archtop built by John D’Angelico which sold for $20,000.

Gere, who is a well-known advocate for AIDS charities and a supporter of Tibet, will donate the proceeds of the sale to a number of charitable foundations.

Richard Gere To Auction His Guitar Collection at Christies New York On October 11

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: “I’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 it’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.”

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. Gere’s unrecognized talent for creating a cohesive collection.”

Highlights include:

  • 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 D’Angelico Archtop, Estimate: $10,000-15,000 Formerly the property of James D’ 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.