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Mark Knopfler guitars and amps rake in nearly £9 million at auction

Highlights include the Gibson Les Paul Standard ’59 reissue that Knopfler used on Money for Nothing – which sold for £592,200 – and a 1988 Pensa-Suhr MK-1 which was valued at £8,000, but went for £504,000.

Mark Knopfler performing on stage

Credit: Angel Marchini/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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An assortment of Mark Knopfler‘s guitars and amps have brought in nearly £9 million at auction, considerably higher than had originally been estimated.

The auction took place yesterday (31st January) at Christie’s in London, welcoming bidders and buyers from 61 countries, and saw more than 120 of the Dire Straits man’s guitars and amps go under the hammer. The final total was confirmed at £8,840,160.

The Gibson Les Paul Standard ’59 reissue that Knopfler used on the track Money for Nothing was sold for £592,200, setting a new world auction record for the model.

Various other instruments also sold for vastly more than their estimated value. For example, Knopfler’s 1988 Pensa-Suhr MK-1, which he played at Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday tribute concert at Wembley Stadium, was estimated for just £8,000 but  sold for £504,000.

Meanwhile, a red Schecter Telecaster that Knopfler purchased in 1984 for Dire Straits’ hit Walk of Life was auctioned for  £415,800, well above its £6,000 estimate. The first electric-acoustic guitar he owned was also part of the collection and had an estimate of £5,000 but sold for £126,000.

Knopfler tells the BBC that the auction had been “an incredible journey”.

“I am so pleased that these much-loved instruments will find new players and new songs as well as raising money for charities that mean a lot to me,” he says.

“It has been heart-warming to witness how much these guitars mean to so many people and I am also pleased that they will continue to give joy to many through the songs recorded over the years with me.

“To you fellow players, enthusiasts and collectors, I wish you all good things.”

At least a quarter of the proceeds from the auction will be divided equally and donated to the British Red Cross, Tusk, and Brave Hearts of the North East.

In addition, the Teenage Cancer Trust will receive all of the £403,200 raised from Knopfler’s 2021 Gibson Les Paul “gold top” guitar, which bears the signatures of 33 stars including the late Jeff Beck, Ronnie Wood, Sir Brian May, Sting, Sir Ringo Starr and Bruce Springsteen.

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