David Gilmour’s Ovation Guitars Help Break Auction Record
The record breaking sale of more than one hundred and twenty instruments belonging to Pink Floyd star David Gilmour, sold recently for twenty one million dollars at auction and included six legendary Ovation guitars.
Beating Eric Clapton’s record musical instrument sale, the funds raised have been donated by Gilmour to Client Earth because as the British musician said ‘the current climate emergency is the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face’.
Gilmour’s acoustic-electric Custom Legend, 1619-4 manufactured by Ovation in 1976 sold for almost $400,000. The guitar features a pearl inlay Ovation logo at the headstock and its original hardshell case stenciled ‘Pink Floyd / London’. This lot also included copies of the guitars original shipment and sales invoices dated 15th and 22nd October 1976, original promotion leaflet for the Ovation Custom Legend, original registration warranty card and a color snapshot of David Gilmour playing the guitar in 2001.
A second acoustic-electric Custom Legend, 1619-4 with the Ovation logo inlaid at the headstock went for $150,000. It came with original hardcase labeled ‘Ovation 6ST Acoustic #077453 1619-4 175 and Serial No. DG1097’. The artist’s acoustic-eclectic nylon string Classic, 1613-4 with its original hardcase labeled ‘Ovation 1613-4 Nylon #068180’ was auctioned for $118,750 and Gilmour’s acoustic-eclectic 12-string Pacemaker, 1615-4 with hardcase labeled ‘Ovation 12 String1615-4 ’75 #061224 and Serial No. DG1095’ sold for $93,750. All three were accompanied by the original owner’s manual and a copy of the original sales invoice dated 9th September 1976.
Two solid body electric Preachers, a 1283-5 and a 1285-5, accompanied by labelled, original hardshell cases, letters, copies of shipment documents and sales invoices and original sales promotional leaflets sold for $56,250 and $43,750 respectively.
David Gilmour said ‘These guitars have been very good to me and many of them have gifted me pieces of music over the years. They have paid for themselves many times over, but it's now time that they moved on.’
When Pink Floyd were at the height of their popularity in the nineteen seventies, David Gilmour used his hi-strung acoustic guitars to write and record Comfortably Numb. He played them on his eponymous debut solo album and to record the arpeggios in Hey You because it ‘would be impossible to do on a normal guitar.’ Despite attempting hi-strung tuning on other guitars, Gilmour maintained it only really worked on an Ovation.
David Gilmour playing an Ovation Acoustic Guitar,
Vredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands, April 1984
(Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)