The actor developed a hobby for collecting important acoustic and electric guitars and amplifiers and the lots are just some of the ones he has acquired over the past 40 years.
Highlights of the auction, held at Christie’s in New York this week, include a 1954 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar and a 1934 John D’Angelico Archtop guitar, which exceeded its top estimate of $15,000 and went for $20,000.
Top lot was a 1960 Gibson Les Paul, which fetched a magnificent $98,500, while the highly-anticipated sale of a 1958 Gibson Flying V, used by blues great Albert King, was a little more disappointing, selling for $74,500.
Its top estimate was placed at $90,000, making it one of the most valuable guitars in Gere’s collection.
Needless to say, all of the proceeds raised at the auction will be go towards helping humanitarian causes across the globe.
Speaking ahead of the auction, the Pretty Woman actor said it is “more than a little painful” to sell off his beloved guitars. Indeed, only four instruments failed to sell.
Kenny Keane, specialist head of department in musical instruments at Christie’s, told Reuters that Gere did not necessarily collect the most valuable and important guitars ever made.
“He wasn’t outsourcing the purest examples of guitar making – ones that were unused the way say a coin or a stamp collector would collect,” he explained. “[Gere] was looking for instruments that did something personally, tonally for him.”
Guitar manufacturer CF Martin bought three of the top-selling lots at the auction to put in the CF Martin & Co Museum in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
It bought three of its own instruments, including a 1931 electric guitar, case and framed letter for $74,500.