Two brothers could make £80,000 by auctioning a Prince-played acoustic guitar

The affordable acoustic appeared on 1991’s Diamonds And Pearls.

Prince's Fender Gemini II

Prince’s Fender Gemini II with one of its current owners (left) and Auctioneer Luke Hobbs. Images: Gardiner Houlgate

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A Fender Gemini II acoustic guitar, played by Prince on his album Diamonds And Pearls, is to be auctioned off in March by two brothers. It is estimated that it could sell for up to £80,000.

The guitar is currently the star exhibit of a combination living room/museum dedicated to Prince, featuring clothing and various other memorabilia. The sale is being made by the two brothers (who wished to remain anonymous) as one of them has moved to Spain, meaning their initial plans to share the guitar are no longer practical.

The younger brother said in a statement: “In the six months since we bought the guitar, it’s been displayed in my brother’s living room – in what we call his Prince Corner. Lots of our friends have seen it but we’ve not let anyone play it. But now I’ve moved to Spain, it’s not practical for us to share the guitar so we’ve decided to put it up for sale.”

The guitar was acquired by the brothers from Sylvia Massy, who engineered the 1991 record Diamonds And Pearls. Prince notably selected the cheap acoustic (a Fender Gemini II retailed for around £150 at the time) over Massy’s large collection of premium guitars for recording several tracks on the album, including Walk Don’t Walk.

The auction will be held by specialist auction house Gardiner Houlgate. Luke Hobbs, the auctioneer who will host the sale, said the story of the cheap guitar appearing on a Prince album is “is the stuff of music industry legend,” but “what no one knew was that the guitar has been sitting in a living room in Frome since last year. You couldn’t make it up.

“While these guitars are relatively cheap to buy new, interest in Prince from both collectors and fans is very high. We’re certainly expecting lots of interest from America but frankly, we could have a buyer from virtually anywhere in the world. Lockdown has also increased interest in music instrument sales.”

Recently, Gardiner Houlgate also played host to the sale of a Prince Cloud Guitar, which took home £18,500.

The auction of the Fender Gemini II will take place on Wednesday 10 March. Find out more at guitar-auctions.co.uk.

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