On Thursday, David Gilmour auctioned off 120 of his own guitars in what’s considered to be Christie’s largest and most comprehensive sale of its kind. While many of his guitars fetched a pretty penny, his 1969 Martin D-35 acoustic in particular sold for a record-breaking amount.
According to the auction house, the Martin D-35 was purchased for jaw-dropping $1,095,000. The massive sale toppled Christie’s previous record for a Martin, held by Eric Clapton’s 1939 OO0-42 (which sold for $791,500).
#AuctionUpdate The C.F. Martin & Company, Nazareth, 1969 Acoustic Guitar, D-35 has set a new #worldauctionrecord for a C.F Martin guitar realizing $1,095,000, surpassing Eric Clapton's 1939 OO0-42 which sold for $791,500 in 2004 https://t.co/ydaAiLuxsg pic.twitter.com/KPfKFf2Pp8
— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) June 20, 2019
Though a hefty amount to pay, the price tag is rather fitting, as Gilmour long considered the acoustic guitar to be his favorite and most trusted. The Martin D-35 was used as his main guitar for both his own material and Pink Floyd releases, such as Wish You Were Here and The Dark Side of the Moon.
(Read: Pink Floyd’s 10 Best Deep Cuts)
In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Gilmour was asked what he’d need to survive on a desert island. The answer was simple: His Martin D-35.
“It’s not what I need; it’s what I have to have and that would be my Martin D-35,” he explained. “It’s the best guitar I own. It’s the guitar that’s always by my side. I’ve written just about every piece of music using that guitar. My ideas come through that guitar.”
The Martin D-35 was a prized possession, but actually came to Gilmour completely by chance while he was on his way to New York shop Manny’s Music. Premier Guitar recounts the story:
“At that time, there was as much business happening on the sidewalks of Manhattan’s 48th street, where Manny’s was located, as there was going on in the stores lining the block. Gilmour was approached on the street by a musician who was hawking a Martin D-35. Gilmour took a look inside the case, played the guitar a bit, and bought it on the spot.”
Another one of Gilmour’s guitars, the 1969 Fender Stratocaster used on every Pink Floyd album from The Dark Side of the Moon until The Final Cut, sold for $3.975 million, which Christie’s says is the highest price a guitar has sold for at an auction. All told, the auction raised nearly $21.5 million, with proceeds benefiting the climate change charity ClimateEarth.