Hollywood actor Richard Gere is to auction off over 100 vintage guitars from a collection that has taken 20 years to build.
The sale will take place on October 11th in New York and is expected to raise around $1 million (£605,000), which will go towards helping humanitarian causes across the globe.
However, speaking ahead of the auction Gere said it is “more than a little painful” to let them go.
Of the 110 musical instruments going under the gavel are guitars that once belonged to reggae icon Peter Tosh, blues guitarist Albert King and Bob Marley.
He is also putting up instruments by famed US guitar maker James D’Aquisto, as well as mandolins and amps.
Highlights of the sale include a 1931 CF Martin and Company, which has an estimated sale price of $50,000-70,000, a 1952 Fender electric guitar and a 1958 Gibson Les Paul custom electric guitar, which has a top estimate of $50,000.
Describing how he came to collect such a range of instruments, Gere said: “I just bought ones that I liked, the ones that sounded good and played well. Some are very special.”
“They have been my true friends through the best and worst of times,” he added. “Each one has been played, loved and appreciated – and will be again.”
The most valuable lot of them all is a Gibson Flying V, used by Albert King. It is expected to fetch in excess of $90,000.
On October 14th, Christie’s New York will be auctioning off over 150 musical instruments including a 17th century violin and cello by Giovanni Grancino, which have a top estimate of $250,000 and $300,000 respectively.
A contemporary CF Martin guitar designed in collaboration with Eric Clapton will also be sold at the auction. The 1996 instrument is expected to sell for $3,000-$4,000.
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