Eric Clapton Stratocaster Guitar Offered for Sale

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Clapton’s “Blackie” replacement

In 2004 when Eric Clapton’s coveted Fender Stratocaster “Blackie” guitar sold at Christie’s at a then-record-breaking price of $959,500, the guitar world was astounded. That guitar was Slowhand’s favorite “sidekick” for more than 15 years. In the years since, major guitars have now sold into the multi-millions, but that sale of Blackie at nearly $1 million 14 years ago provided a tipping point in the perception of value for such historic instruments.

Offered in that same auction was another guitar that Clapton personally collaborated in designing in order to replace Blackie several years after its retirement. It was created in Blackie’s image, ultimately with the famed black-and-white two-tone colors, and upon its completion in 1990 it became his standard go-to instrument throughout the period 1990-1993.

Related: 10 great Clapton collaborations

The replacement “Blackie” now being offered also received serious attention that evening with bidding going to $200,000. As it turned out, the successful bidder was not able to follow through, and the guitar was then offered by Clapton personally, over the phone, to the second highest bidder. Now, 14 years later, he has requested that San Francisco Art Exchange represent it for resale.

Highlights of the guitar’s pedigree:

*Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Clapton played “Sunshine of Your Love” on the guitar during the induction of Cream into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1993.

Watch that performance here.

* Royal Albert Hall 24 Nights: This is the same guitar Clapton utilized throughout the famed Royal Albert Hall “24 Nights” concert performances during 1990-91.

*George Harrison: Clapton used this guitar when he and his band backed George Harrison on their tour of Japan in December 1991 and continued as his main stage instrument during the 1992 European and US tours.

* Bob Dylan: Clapton used this guitar when he played a version of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” to a standing ovation during the four-hour Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden, October 16, 1992.

*Smoking Guitar: This is reported to be the last known “smoking” guitar, as Clapton gave up smoking in 1993. It has the characteristic cigarette burns on the headstock.

Eric Clapton and his trusty “Blackie” guitar

* Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster, the guitar has been referred to as the first officially sanctioned Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster.

The guitar is being immediately publicized and offered for sale worldwide by San Francisco Art Exchange. Full details can be requested by emailing info@sfae.com, or by calling the gallery at 415-441-8840. The guitar is physically located at the gallery and can be previewed by those who wish to bid. The guitar will be sold to whomever first provides an offer deemed acceptable. This is not an auction per se, but an opportunity for someone to make an offer that is considered impossible to turn down. The minimum acceptable offer is currently placed at $325,000, although it is anticipated that the guitar will sell for a considerably higher amount. Some estimates have placed it in the $500k to $600k range. All inquiries are invited.

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