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Eric Clapton’s Martin 000-28EC signature model prototype to be sold at auction

It is expected to fetch over £20,000.

A picture of the Martin prototype set for auction. It is rested upright against a hardshell case and has a sunburst finish

Image: Gardiner Houlgate

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Eric Clapton’s 1995 Martin 000-28EC prototype is going up for auction in the UK this June. The model, originally given to Clapton for approval, is being auctioned via Gardiner Houlgate auctioneers in Wiltshire.

It is being sold on behalf of an artistic director who worked closely with Clapton and his management at the time, and is expected to fetch over £20,000. The 000-28EC went on to become Martin’s best selling signature guitar, and was one of its first non-limited signature models.

The Martin 000-28EC was introduced to the market after high demand for a more affordable version of Clapton’s limited edition 000-42EC. The model up for auction is one of two prototypes given to him in 1995 for approval. At the time Clapton said the 000-28EC model was “the best sounding acoustic guitar” he had ever played.

The guitar was put into full scale production, selling over 20,000 units to date. Wear to the guitar, including deep scratches to the back, suggest that it was played by Clapton at some stage.

Gardiner Houlgate auctioneer Luke Hobbs says, “This is historically very important in terms of both the C.F Martin company and the association of Clapton with the 000-28 model. He is well known for using 000-28s for most of his career in acoustic numbers.

“His iconic track Wonderful Tonight, was written on a 1974 Martin 000-28. His more contemporary signature editions feature heavily on live acoustic performances.”

Other artist owned pieces in the sale include the Bernie Marsden’s collection (former Whitesnake guitarist), the Ian Bairnson collection, as well as guitars owned by Gary Moore, Peter Green, Graham Nash, John Entwistle and more.

The guitar is be available for public viewing now up until 10 June, and on the day of auction itself. This will take place at Gardiner Houlgate, 9 Leafield Way, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9SW, on Tuesday 11 June.

Find out more via Gardiner Houlgate.

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