Martin Guitar celebrated their 175th Anniversary with a first time auction of guitars donated from their private collection. The exclusive auction partnered the legendary guitar maker with Christie’s in New York for the sale of 44 unique and one-of-a-kind guitars, ranging from prototypes to limited artist signature editions, on Friday, October 10th. The sale pulled in more than $210,000 dollars exclusively from the lots donated by Martin Guitar, with all proceeds going to benefit the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation.
“All of us at Martin are very proud to have been part of this remarkable and successful auction,” said Chairman and CEO Chris Martin IV. “We value our long-standing relationship with Christie’s and through the proceeds of this sale, many important charities will benefit from our Foundation.”
The top selling guitar from the Martin Guitar collection was a D-50 Deluxe prototype selling for $37,500. Other big ticket guitars included a limited edition Gene Autry signature model selling for $25,000, a D-45 Golden Era for $16,250 and a 000-28EC Eric Clapton Signature Edition guitar for $11,250. A complete list of the guitars and sale prices can be found at www.christies.com.
Martin artist Kenny Sultan and guitarist G.E. Smith were on hand during a private showing to the media on Wednesday, October 8th where they demonstrated and performed with several of the guitars set to go to auction. Additionally, Sultan contributed one of his own prized Martin’s to the auction, a 1939 000-42, which Martin acquired to display as part of the Martin Museum’s permanent collection at the Martin factory in Nazareth, PA.
The sale, held in part with Christies “Fine Musical Instruments” auction, totaled $1,809,813 with seven of the top ten lots being American built guitars. Three of those seven were Martin Guitars.