Famed guitars go up for auction

(Reuters) - Nearly 300 instruments with both historical and celebrity connections will be up for auction by Guernsey's in New York.

At the heart of the sale is a wide assortment of guitars.

"The guitars range from true antiques from the 1800s to rarities from all different periods within the twentieth century. Going from the most classic and handsomely crafted acoustic instruments to wild and crazy electric guitars," said Mr Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey's.

One highlight has an Eric Clapton connection.

"The white guitar behind me is one of four made by C.F. Martin & Co. The oldest guitar manufacture in the United States, a treasured name, Martin guitars. This is one of four made to the specifications of Eric Clapton and signed by Mr. Clapton, right inside the guitar."

Mr Ettinger said the sale will 'unquestionably' feature the finest collection of Larson Brothers instruments: "One of which was an instrument owned by Johnny Cash and then gifted to a young Bob Dylan, who played it."

US singer and songwriter George Benson is letting go of 20 of his personal instruments.

Some of the top lots include an electric guitar once owned by Eddie Van Halen which is expected to fetch between US$50,000-60,000 (S$71,333-85,599). And a rare seven string guitar owned by Tony Mottola is estimated at $70,000-80,000.

The three part sale will also feature a collection autographed guitars and numerous music related items.

The auction will be held on Feb 27 in New York.