Auction Results

“Cloud 3” breaks Prince guitar record


Prince plays the Cloud 3 guitar
Image courtesy of Juliens Auctions.

Prince’s Cloud 3 guitar realised $910,000 at auction this week to become the most-expensive six-string ever owned by the artist.

The yellow “cloud” guitar was custom made for Prince and was one of the standout items in the Music Icons sale at New York’s The Hard Rock Cafe.

The unusually shaped guitar is quintessentially Prince but had been off the radar for a couple of decades.

The Cloud 3 guitar is as bright and vibrant as you would expect for a Prince instrument.

Played by Prince live on some of his biggest tours, it’s hard to imagine a Prince instrument topping the excitement that this one generated.

Luthier Dave Rusan made the guitar in time for the Purple Rain tour of 1985, the period in which Prince really became a global music icon.

Sellers Juliens Auctions said: “The air crackled with electrifying anticipation,” as the sale began.

Prince’s guitar was just one of a number of legendary instruments in the sale.

A John Lennon acoustic went for $2.8 million the previous day.

Guitars owned and played by Bob Dylan, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, and Bono were also sold. An extensive collection of Randy Bachman guitars also crossed the block.

In total the sale realised more than $10.3 million, with a Michael Jackson stage outfit that made over $100,000 the pick of the non-instrument items.

The market for music memorabilia is booming at the top end.

Guitars are the most enticing prospect for big money buyers. Kurt Cobain’s Skystang 1 guitar realised over $1.5 million at the end of last year.

The next big star guitar sale will feature the acoustic on which Eric Clapton wrote Wonderful Tonight. It goes under the hammer next week with a presale estimate of £300,000 to £400,000.

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