10 Most Expensive Guitars in History

Guitars have been around for ages. Such an instrument is one of the reasons why we’re able to recognize legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page who have stamped their names in the music industry for their stellar and iconic performances with their guitars. Their talents are branded as gold, and most of them – if not all – are irreplaceable.

It cannot be denied that these legendary guitarists possess some of the most expensive guitars in music history. On this article, we run down the ten most expensive guitars ever sold in history.

  1. Eric Clapton’s 1939 CF Martin & Co.

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Eric Clapton's 1939 CF Martin & Co. - The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Eric Clapton’s 1939 CF Martin & Co. – The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

This is another guitar owned by Eric Clapton which he used in the recording of his hit song, “Tears in Heaven,” which was released in 1992. The guitar was sold for $791,500 to raise funds for his Crossroads Rehabilitation Center.

  1. Eric Clapton’s 1964 Gibson ES335 TDC

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Eric Clapton's 1964 Gibson ES335 TDC - The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Eric Clapton’s 1964 Gibson ES335 TDC – The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

This Gibson was the second guitar which Eric Clapton ever bought. He used this guitar when he performed with the bands Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, and the Blind Faith. It was one of the main guitars that he used in 1964, but he rarely used it ever since. The guitar was sold for $847,500.

  1. Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ Fender Stratocaster hybrid

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Eric Clapton "Blackie" Fender Stratocaster - The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Eric Clapton “Blackie” Fender Stratocaster – The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

Eric Clapton switched to Stratocaster guitars in 1970. He bought six vintage Strats for only $100 each guitar. Clapton gave one each to Steve Winwood, George Harrison, and Pete Townshend. He took the remaining three guitars apart and made “Blackie,” a hybrid Stratocaster. Blackie was reportedly sold at $959,500.

  1. Bob Dylan’s 1965 Fender Stratocaster

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Bob Dylan 1965 Fender Stratocaster - The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Bob Dylan 1965 Fender Stratocaster – The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

The 1965 Fender Stratocaster was first used by Bob Dylan during the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Bob Dylan left the instrument on a plane. The pilot, upon receiving no response from the singer’s management, has kept the guitar for nearly 50 years. It was sold for a whopping $965,000 at an auction by an unnamed buyer.

  1. Keith Richards’ 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Keith Richards' 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard - The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Keith Richards’ 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard – The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

The Gibson Les Paul Standard is one of the main instruments which Keith Richards used during the early years of The Rolling Stones. It became one of his main guitars during their prime. Ever since it was used by Richards, it has already been called as the Holy Grail of solid-body electric guitars. The guitar is reportedly sold at $1 million.

  1. Bob Marley’s Custom-made Washburn Hawk

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Bob Marley's Custom-made Washburn Hawk- The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Bob Marley’s Custom-made Washburn Hawk- The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

Iconic reggae singer Bob Marley had a custom-made Washburn guitar which he often used. This is one of the seven guitars which he once owned. The guitar was sold for approximately $1.2 million to $2 million. The government of Jamaica has already classified Marley’s guitar as a national asset.

  1. Jerry Garcia’s Doug Irwin ‘Tiger’

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Jerry Garcia's Doug Irwin 'Tiger' - The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. Jerry Garcia’s Doug Irwin ‘Tiger’ – The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

The “Tiger” was the main guitar of Jerry Garcia from 1979 to 1989. It was constructed by Doug Irwin, a luthier from the Sonoma County. The guitar was named as such because of the tiger inlaid found on the preamp cover on the top of the guitar. It was sold to business executive Brian Halligan for $1.9 million during an auction to benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center.

  1. 1968 Fender Stratocaster of Jimi Hendrix

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. 1968 Fender Stratocaster of Jimi Hendrix - The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. 1968 Fender Stratocaster of Jimi Hendrix – The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

The guitar is widely known for being the guitar Jimi Hendrix used during his iconic performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. It is also said that the Fender Stratocaster is one of his favorite guitars. It was reportedly sold to Paul Allen of Microsoft for a whopping $2 million.

  1. John Lennon’s Gibson J-160E Guitar

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. John Lennon's Gibson J-160E Guitar - The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. John Lennon’s Gibson J-160E Guitar – The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

Without a doubt, the guitar is one of the most significant instruments in music history. John Lennon’s long-lost acoustic guitar was used for recording songs in the, “Please, Please Me” and “With the Beatles” album of the Beatles. It was sold at $2.4 million in 2015 during a live auction after being reported as missing for more than 40 years.

  1. ‘Reach Out to Asia’ Fender Stratocaster

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. 'Reach Out to Asia' Fender Stratocaster - The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

    10 Most Expensive Guitars in History. ‘Reach Out to Asia’ Fender Stratocaster – The Blogging Musician @ adamharkus.com

In 2005, this guitar was sold at an auction in Qatar for $2.7 million. The auction aimed to raise funds for Reach Out Asia, a non-profit organization which was formed to help the 2005 tsunami victims. The guitar contains signatures by famous guitarists and musicians including Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, and Bryan Adams.

Some guitars become a little hefty on the price not only because legendary guitarists owned them, but also because of their amazing guitar designs. They vary from Lego guitars to tennis guitars. Most of them, if not all, are worthy of taking a second look.

Everything comes with a price. However, they did not become expensive for no reason. Be it a Gibson or a Fender guitar, these instruments have proven to be valuable and iconic, hence their hefty price.

Courtesy of Irina Kashevskaya

More Guitar @ The Blogging Musician

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