The Most Expensive Acoustic Guitars Ever Sold

Guitars are one of the most popular string instruments. They are commonly found in bands, and can be played solo. They come in an array of types, sizes, styles and colors. They are thought to originate back in the middle ages when a guitar-like instrument, something like a lute, was played, but it wasn’t until the renaissance era when guitars as we know them today, began to come into play. Of course, over time, the typical guitar was soon taken to another level when the electric guitar was born. It is one that is most often heard in rock bands, and some musicians have really perfected the instrument, with some of the biggest names in music, being electric guitar players. Acoustic guitars rely on the strings and sound box that amplifies the strumming and sound of the strings. It can either be played using the fingers only, or a pick. Guitars are so poplar, in fact, that some people will pay a great deal of money for certain guitars. It isn’t unheard of for certain guitars to go for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and if you have ever wondered what the most was that was spent on a guitar, then you’re in luck. We have a list of five of the most expensive acoustic guitars ever sold.

5. 11930 Martin OM-45 Deluxe – $300,000

This is considered the Holy Grail of guitars and is a highly sought after instrument. When collector and founder of the virtual Museum of Musical Instruments, Hank Risan, set up an auction in New York to auction off some of his collection, which included this instrument, an instrument that helped to build the foundation of the musical industry as we know it today, there was high hopes that the guitar would fetch a big sum, however, this would not be the case, in the end. Some of the guitars that were a part of the auction along with the Martin OM-45 Deluxe, included the 1941 Gibson SJ-200, played by Stephen Stills of Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, and an 1967 Gibson SJN Country Western, played by Mick Jagger. The Martin ended up selling for just $300,000, a disappointing low, compared to the hopeful $1.750M-$2M they were hoping for.

4. 1936-’42 Martin D-45 – $320,000 to $400,000

Martin guitars are some of the most  prominent guitars and many are owned by famous singers. The most expensive models are those that are known as, “pre-war Martins,” meaning, those that were produced between 1933 and 1942. The 1936-42 Martin D-45. This guitar is constructed of Brazilian Rosewood, a very expensive wood, which is considered a has been listed as a “vulnerable” species. The Martins that are pre-war dated, have all been valued at a much higher value than the more recent Martins, such as the D-45. They are selling for about 20 times more than recent issues, despite there being very little difference in the instrument’s design in all these years. This specific model has been valued between $320,000 and $400,00.

3. D’Angelico New Yorker Teardrop – $500,000.

Back in 1957, a musician by the name of Pete Giardi, who was a member of the band, The Teardrops, was looking for a guitar that was in the shape of a teardrop to coincide with his band’s name. He went to John D’Angelico and asked if he would design and construct a guitar of this nature, and the result was this stunningly impressive guitar that dons a fin-like protrusion from the right corner of the instrument. This is a one-of-a-kind guitar and was a highly sought after instrument for years. In 1993, a collector by the name of Scott Chinery got hold of the guitar, only paying $150,000 for it, an instrument that is said to now be valued at over $500,000. Since the original teardrop guitar was designed, two more have been replicated and all three wound up in a guitar exhibition in New York in 2011, the only time all three teardrops have ever appeared together.

2. Martin OM-45 Deluxe – $554,500

1. Eric Clapton’s CF Martin & Co, circa 1939 – $791,500




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