Christie’s host record-breaking Mark Knopfler guitar auction

Mark Knopfler's iconic guitars at auction

Mark Knopfler with guitar collection. Credit: MarkKnopfler/

In an event that confirms Mark Knopfler’s enduring legacy, his guitar collection fetched over €10 million at auction.

On Wednesday, January 31, Christie’s in London was the scene of a remarkable auction. Over 120 of Knopfler’s guitars, both electric and acoustic, along with amplifiers, went under the hammer.

The sale racked up an impressive 8.8 million pounds (around €10.3 million). This six-hour bidding marathon drew bidders from 61 countries.

Charity benefits from Knopfler’s generosity

A significant portion of the proceeds, 25 per cent, is earmarked for charities close to Knopfler’s heart: The British Red Cross, Tusk, and Brave Hearts of the North East.

Additionally, the entirety of the final lot’s proceeds will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Christie’s has also committed to donating £50,000 to each of these four organizations.

‘This auction has been an incredible journey and I am delighted that these much-loved instruments will find new players and new songs and raise money for charities that mean a lot to me,’ Knopfler said.

Iconic guitars fetch sky-high prices

The auction’s star was a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, fetching £693,000 (around €812,000), a world record for this model.

This cherry red sunburst guitar was a fixture in Knopfler’s 2001 Sailing To Philadelphia and 2008 Kill To Get Crimson tours, besides featuring in several recordings.

The second-highest bid landed on a 1983 reissue of the 1959 Les Paul Standard. Priced at £592,000 (about €693,000), this guitar was pivotal in recording Dire Straits‘ album ‘Brothers In Arms’. It also featured in their 1985 Live Aid performance.

A 1988 Pensa-Suhr MK-1, instrumental in the Nelson Mandela tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in 1988, reached third place with £504,000 (around €590,000), another record for this model.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.