Christies Auction of MK-owned Guitars
Scheduled to commence at 1 p.m. on 31 January in what turned out to be a unique and dramatic event, the start of the Mark Knopfler auction was delayed by two hours due to the overwhelming amount of people attempting to log into Christies auction live stream. Christies of London auctioned 122 items from Mark’s personal collection of guitars and amps. The auction included a 1959 Gibson Les Paul, the 1959 Gibson Les Paul reissue Mark used at Live Aid in 1985, the 1988 Pensa-Suhr Carved Top (now referred to as the MK-I model) used at the Mandela Birthday Concert, Knebworth, and throughout the OES Tour. Also under the hammer was the ‘Walk of Life’ Red Schecter Telecaster and some very tasty acoustic instruments.
Wherever I go I’m still crossing streets to look at guitars in the windows of music shops. I’ve done that since I was a little kid. I’ve lived with this love affair for over sixty years. That has meant a passion for all kinds of guitars: the impossible dreams and plenty of the less expensive ones too. As a career in music made it possible for me to realise some of those dreams, guitars of all shapes and sizes began to appear. It’s time to take some of these treasured six-string companions out of their cases and leave them in the care of Christie’s to allow them to have new adventures with new owners. You can be sure I’ll be sad to see them go but we’ve had wonderful times together and I can’t play them all. To you fellow players, enthusiasts and collectors, I wish you many good times with these old friends of mine. – MK
The collection spanned Mark’s 50-year career and chronicled the diverse array of instruments that he has used to write, record and perform his extensive catalogue of compositions for Dire Straits, as well as numerous successful solo albums and film soundtracks. The collection features world-famous names such as Fender, Gibson, Gretsch and Martin alongside custom-built models by Rudy Pensa and John Suhr as well as bespoke examples crafted by luthiers from across the globe. Ahead of the London auction, highlights were on view in Christies’ New York galleries from 9 to 13 December 2023 and from 19 to 30 January 2024 at Christie’s London.
Twenty-five percent of the total hammer price will be divided equally and donated to The British Red Cross, Tusk and Brave Hearts of the North East. (UK)
Many thanks to all those who took part in the event and many congratulations to the lucky lot winners.