art & design

Ed Sheeran’s Fender Stratocaster at Bonhams 10 December Entertainment Memorabilia Sale

CELEBRITY ‘X’ FACTOR SEES THE 
VALUE OF GUITARS RISE AT BONHAMS 
Ed Sheeran’s Fender Stratocaster 
estimated at £4,000-6,000
9240386-1-5
  • Bonhams offer one of the first Ed Sheeran collectors’ items to come to auction, a ‘Green T’ Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, designed by a British contemporary artist
  • Celebrities add the ‘wow’ factor for musical instruments, with guitars routinely increasing in value when connected with a celebrity
  • Bonhams frequently offer rare guitars played by famous artists, including John Lennon, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain and Chris Martin
  • Bonhams 10 December Entertainment Memorabilia Sale also features a guitar from Pete Townsend, and the Gibson Les Paul originally owned by the late Paul Kossoff
Ed Sheeran’s exceptional musical talent has seen him rise to fame and fortune, with hits including ‘Sing’, ‘Thinking Out Loud’, ‘The A Team’, and ‘Bloodstream’.
Bonhams 10 December Entertainment Memorabilia Sale features one of the first Ed Sheeran collectors’ items to come to auction, a ‘Green T’ Fender Stratocaster, offered with the estimate of £4,000-6,000.

The guitar was loaned to the musician by Teddy M, a British contemporary artist, and Sheeran subsequently strummed the Stratocaster on his ‘X’ world tour whilst performing the track ‘Thinking Out Loud’. The tour took him to over 15 countries, and included a live televised performance from Central Park, New York City, for Good Morning America’s Summer Concert in May 2015.
Guitars can sell for considerably more than the market value of the instrument if they’ve been in the hands of a celebrity. Whilst a Fender Stratocaster can be bought new for approximately £1,500, the Ed Sheeran Stratocaster offered at Bonhams is estimated at £4,000-6,000 – an increase of 166%.
“The celebrity factor can see the initial value of an instrument multiply to many times its estimate,” said Natalie Downing, Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Specialist. “For example, a used Vincente Tatay Thomas acoustic guitar will generally fetch around £250. The same model sold at Bonhams for £18,750 – that’s an increase of 7,400%. The model in question was originally owned by Chris Martin, lead-singer of Coldplay, which is why it saw such an astronomical rise in value.”
Ed Sheeran is a young, talented, successful recording artist. He recently launched his own record label, is friends with Taylor Swift, dabbles in acting, and has just earned his stripes as a presenter at the MTV Europe Music Awards, co-presenting with Australian model and actress, Ruby Rose. In 2015 alone he won an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Live Act, beating Katie Perry, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and the Foo Fighters, and an MTV Europe Music Award for Best World Stage Performance.

“We expect Sheeran’s popularity amongst his fans will mean many of them will delight in the opportunity to take home something that has a connection to him. We look forward to seeing how the market develops for his items at auction.”
BATTLE OF THE BANDS:
There are certain factors worth considering when anticipating the value of a musical instrument. “There are always going to be some artists who are more popular for collectors than others,” says Bonhams Entertainment Consultant, Stephen Maycock. “Eric Clapton, for example, has been a successful recording artist for 50 years – in that time, you build up quite a following.
“However, this isn’t exclusive to ‘legends’ of rock and pop, memorabilia connected to modern musicians can also have that appeal. Much like a contemporary artwork versus an historic, old master painting, there is a bidder for each area of taste and style.”
Top 5 ‘star’ factors for celebrity guitars:
  1. Artist: An instrument owned by a one-hit-wonder won’t bring bidders to the room. Legends of rock, queens of pop, icons of an era – the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Madonna, Oasis, Abba, Jimmy Hendrix – are some of the most popular artists in the auction room.
  1. Ownership: Ideally the guitar will either be currently owned by, once have been owned by, or played on several occasions by the artist. A signature is desirable, but ownership more so – buyers want to feel the frets their idol once thumbed, and take home the instrument their hero adored. Joan Jett once said: “My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am.” An auction provides fans with the opportunity to take home a part of their favourite musician’s legacy.
  1. Condition: If the instrument is still playable, it adds to the appeal. The new owner can play their hero’s songs, on their hero’s guitar – not much beats that.
  1. Rarity: If the instrument itself is limited edition, or perhaps the artist had just one special guitar they used whilst in concert, that will increase the popularity, and subsequently the premium.
  1. Cool factor: Was this the guitar used during a particularly momentous occasion in musical history?
ELECTRIC V ACOUSTIC 
Slash, Guns N’ Roses lead-guitarist, once said, “Guitars are like women. You’ll never get them totally right,” – personal preference is always a factor. “Electric guitars are usually more desirable at auction, they’re just a bit sexier, and they’ve produced the great riffs of rock music,” says Stephen Maycock.
TOP SALES AT BONHAMS 
Bonhams record breaking Entertainment Memorabilia department regularly offer rare and exciting musical instruments, the majority of them guitars.
ARTIST
GUITAR
DATE SOLD
PRICE ACHIEVED AT BONHAMS
Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead) A Jerry Garcia electric guitar by Travis Bean, circa 1975
8 May 2007
$300,000
Pete Townsend (The Who) Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2, circa late 1967,
25 June 2014
£37,500
Robert Smith (The Cure) The Cure: A Schecter RS 1000 guitar in black gloss finish owned and played by Robert Smith,
18 December 2013
£27,500
Eric Clapton A Martin 000-28 EC Eric Clapton signature model acoustic guitar, formerly owned by Eric Clapton
15 December 2011
£27,500
Chris Martin (Coldplay) Chris Martin / Coldplay: Chris Martin’s first guitar used during the recording of Parachutes, circa. 1996,
24 June 2015
£18,750
Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) Popular Music Memorabilia Roger Waters: a Fender Precision bass guitar,
3 July 2012
£11,250
Angus Young (AC/DC) AC/DC: An Angus Young used and autographed Gibson SG guitar
3 July 2012
£9,375
Mick Jagger (The Rolling Stones) Mick Jagger’s Kramer semi-acoustic guitar
16 June 2009
£7,200
Paul Stanley (Kiss) Original Paul Stanley Kiss guitar used on the Alive! Worldwide Reunion Tour, 1996-1997
14 December 2011
$5,000
Bonhams 10th December Entertainment Memorabilia Sale will see over 200 lots of exciting memorabilia go under the hammer. The sale takes place at Bonhams Knightsbridge salerooms. For further information, visit: https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/22818/?department=COL-ENT

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