Auction News

Prince “Cloud” guitar drifts to $600,000 auction


One of Prince’s yellow, cloud-shaped guitars will be auctioned in the US for an estimated $600,000 on May 29.  

The instrument was custom made in 1985 for the Purple Rain tour. It was played by Prince on the subsequent Parade (1986), Sign of the Times (1987), Lovesexy (1988-89), Nude (1990) and Diamonds & Pearls (1992) tours. 

Prince’s idiosyncratic instruments in psychedelic shapes and colours were a big part of his visual style. They were played by one of the greatest guitarists of his era, compared to Jimi Hendrix by radio DJ John Peel.

Prince’s guitar collection ran to 121 instruments. Many were as flamboyant as their owner, but much of his recorded work was played on a humble Hohner telecaster copy.

Prince was one of the most influential and prolific artists of the modern era. His music takes in so many styles and genres – funk, pop, rock – that he’s unclassifiable. 

He sold over 150 million copies of the 45 albums he released. He scored four American number 1 singles. Prince died in 2016 after an overdose in 2016, aged 57.

The beautifully finished guitar is packed with details that link it to Prince.

The Cloud 3 guitar, which the singer gave away in 1993, was built by Dave Rusan. 

Prince used four of the shape during his career. 

These Frankenstein guitars were originally forged from hardware put together at Knut Koupée, Prince’s local guitar store in Minneapolis. 

All the cloud guitars were originally painted white. Cloud 3 was then peach and finally the yellow we see today. 

The guitar was won in a radio station contest in New York in 1993. 

Julien’s Auctions, who are selling the guitar, took CT scans as they verified the guitar as the third of the four clouds, confirming the presence of seven pieces of wood in the single body. 

It is one of the star items in the Rock ‘N’ Roll VIP sale at Julien’s on May 29th, going to auction with an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. 

Just Collecting