An immense collection of guitars and amps owned by the late Gary Moore is coming to auction June 29.
More than 35 guitars and amplifiers from the collection of the late Irish guitarist will be offered at Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale, which will take place at the auctioneer’s location in Knightsbridge, London.
The Belfast-born star is famed for gracing the lineup of the great British rock band Thin Lizzy, as well as Colosseum II, and the original Skid Row group. Moore’s talents extended across a breadth of musical styles, from mainstream hard rock, for which he was most famous, to blues and jazz-rock, genres in which he produced several albums.
“Before his death, Gary Moore had amassed an incredible collection of instruments,” says Stephen Maycock, Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia consultant specialist. “Some 35 guitars, as well as a selection of vintage amplifiers, will be offered at auction for the first time in Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale. As you’d expect from such a great musician, there’s a lot of interesting guitars in the collection, including several Gibson Les Paul models.”
Leading the collection is a 1963 Fender Stratocaster, estimated at $12,000–17,000. The guitar was a gift from the late Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival. It can be seen on live footage of the Fleadh festival in Finsbury Park, London in 2001, and the Blues for Jimi DVD in late 2007.
Also featured is a Fritz Brothers Roy Buchanan Bluemaster guitar, estimated at $3,600–5,100. Moore ordered the guitar after borrowing a similar instrument from George Harrison, who was his friend and neighbor in the Oxfordshire town of Henley-on-Thames. Moore used Harrison’s guitar when recording a track on the 1989 album After the War, and he later decided to purchase his own to use for live performances.
Other highlights from the Gary Moore collection include:
• Warwick Thumb Bass guitar, 1987, estimated at $1,500–2,200
• National Model 1104 Town and Country guitar, circa 1957, estimated at $1,700–2,200
• Fender Twin amplifier, 1950s, estimated at $7,300–8,700
• Gibson Les Paul ’59 Standard Historic Reissue guitar, 2004, estimated at $3,600–4,400
• Gibson Les Paul Standard Hot Rod 58 guitar, 2008, estimated at $2,900–4,400
• Fender Vibroverb amplifier, 1964, estimated at $4,400–5,800
• Gibson Firebird 1 guitar, 1964, estimated at $12,00–15,000
• Gary Moore Tribute Model Les Paul Standard Initial Prototype, 2012, estimated at $3,600–4,400
• Gibson Les Paul Standard VOS Collector’s Choice No.1, 2011, estimated at $5,800–7,300
We’ve featured a selection of the guitars and amps below and over the next pages, along with their descriptions from the auction catalog.
1963 “Claude Nobs” Fender Stratocaster
Body with non-original, clear-lacquered natural finish, three Kinman AVN pickups, three-ply laminated scratchplate, three volume/tone knobs and five-way selector, re-fretted rosewood fingerboard with dot markers, in rectangular, plush-lined Fender tweed case with various components. A gift to Gary from Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs in 1998. Seen on the live footage of the TV broadcast from the Fledah in Finsbury Park, London in 2001, and the Blues for Jimi DVD, filmed in London in late 2007.
1950s Fender Twin
Model 5C8, serial 0322, tweed case, two Jensen Alnico 5 12-inch speakers, top control panel with four Instrument/Microphone sockets and four control knobs. Acquired in 1991. The tweed had been replaced prior to this and the handle is a possible replacement also.
1964 Gibson Firebird 1
Inked serial on back of headstock, 153314, “reverse“” mahogany body with sunburst finish, with replacement Seymour Duncan mini-humbucking bridge pickup, volume and tone bonnet knobs, three-ply laminated scratchplate, unbound rosewood fingerboard with dot markers, banjo tuners on treble side of headstock, in hard, rectangular plush-lined case with original pickup and replaced volume pot and Gibson strap. Bought in 1994 for the short-lived BBM project, featuring Moore with the former Cream rhythm section of bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker.
1965 Gibson Melody Maker
Serial 287759 on back of headstock, double-cutaway body with red finish, single oblong pickup with black plastic cover, two black bonnet knobs mounted onto scratchplate which surrounds pickup, unbound rosewood fingerboard with dot markers, narrow headstock, in faux skin card case.
2007 Gibson ’57 Les Paul Goldtop VOS Darkback Reissue
Serial 771413 ink-stamped on back of headstock, bound body with carved top, four gold bonnet volume/tone knobs, three-way selector, two humbuckers, bound rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid markers, Gibson Deluxe tuners, in shaped, hard Gibson plush-lined case with strap. Used on the 2007 album Close As You Get and seen in live performances on the corresponding tour.
Circa 1991 Fritz Brothers “Roy Buchanan Bluesmaster”
Telecaster-style, bound body with three-tone sunburst finish, three EMG pickups, five-way selector and volume/tone knobs, three-ply laminated pearloid scratchplate, unbound fingerboard, headstock with Roy Buchanan “signature,” Sperzel tuners, in hard, rectangular plush-lined case with strap. Ordered from the Fritz Brothers workshop after Gary had borrowed a similar model from his Henley neighbor George Harrison for use on one track of 1989’s After the War album. It was used to play that track live and for some tracks on the After Hours album.
1964 Fender Vibroverb
Serial A03015, black tolex with blackface, one 15-inch speaker, front panel with Normal/Vibrato sockets, nine control knobs, 240/110 volt transformer bolted into chassis, complete with flight case.
1989 Takamine CP-132SC Electric-Acoustic
Serial 89120380. Natural finish cedar top with rosewood back, sides and fingerboard, in hard, shaped plush-lined Takamine case. Used for the track “Nothing’s the Same” on 1992 album After Hours and for “With Love (Remember)” from the 1994 album Ballads and Blues.
2011 Gibson Les Paul Standard VOS Collector’s Choice No.1
Artist Proof #3 in silver pen to back of headstock, bound, carved, two-piece flame maple top with fine figuring, mahogany body and neck, four gold bonnet volume/tone control knobs (two with caps), two humbuckers, three-way selector, bound rosewood neck with trapezoid markers, Sperzel tuners, in hard, shaped lined Gibson case with completed checklist/COA/tags, with original delivery box.
1957 National Model 1104 Town and Country
Serial X74338 stamped on plate to back of headstock, bound maple body with natural finish, back with plastic covering, two pickups, nickel-plated hardware, lower scratchplate with six volume/tone knobs and selector, bolt-on neck with bound rosewood fingerboard and parallelogram markers, in hard, shaped lined Stone Case Co. case with strap. Featured in a photo shoot for promo pictures in 2008, for the Bad for You Baby album, and used on flyers and posters for live shows in Europe during this period.
1971 Marshall Model 2022 Lead 20 amplifier and cabinet
Amp serial 0864C, black tolex with vinyl cover, and a Marshall 4x10 speaker cabinet, serial 38774, black tolex with Marshall logo to grille.
2007 Gibson Firebird V
Serial 010870430 and Made in U.S.A. impressed to back of headstock, natural-finish reverse body with Zebrawood wings, seven-piece neck-thru-body construction, four black bonnet volume/tone knobs, three-way selector, chrome hardware, bound rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid markers, 'banjo' tuners, in Gibson plush-lined, hard rectangular case with strap, lead and owner's manual, from an edition of 400.