Blyth musician Mark Knopfler, frontman of Dire Straits, sells guitars at auction for £8.8m
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A sale at Christie’s auction house in London saw all units on offer sold on Wednesday, January 31.
The musician, who was born in Glasgow but brought up in Blyth, will donate 25% of the proceeds from the auction equally between chosen charities The British Red Cross, Brave Hearts of the North East, and the Tusk Trust.
Mark said: “This auction has been an incredible journey and I am so pleased that these much loved instruments will find new players and new songs, as well as raising money for charities that mean a lot to me.
“It has been heart-warming to witness how much these guitars mean to so many people and I am also pleased that they will continue to give joy to many through the songs recorded over the years with me.
“To you fellow players, enthusiasts, and collectors, I wish you all good things.”
Amelia Walker, Christie’s specialist head of private and iconic collections, added: “We are absolutely thrilled with the outstanding result of this auction, a testament to the phenomenal global appeal of Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits.
“Christie’s London has been buzzing with music and excitement for the last two weeks, and the exhibition has drawn fans from around the world.
“The auction saw an unprecedented number of bidders register to take part. We feel privileged to have been entrusted by Mark to find new owners for his old ‘friends’, some of which appear on his upcoming new album One Deep River to be released in April, and to have helped raise money for his chosen charities.”
The most expensive item purchased was the singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer’s 1959 Vintage Gibson Les Paul Standard, used for performances on two tours and for several recordings. The cherry red instrument fetched £693,000.
100% of the sale of the final lot, Gibson Les Paul 'Gold Top' used in an upcoming collaboration project to be announced this month and signed by several world-famous artists, will go to Teenage Cancer Trust. The guitar sold for £403,200.
In addition, Christie’s will donate £50,000 to each of the four charities the auction supported.