NEW YORK — This April, an unrivaled collection of 265 acoustic guitars will be sold at auction by Guernsey’s in New York City. The array of seldom-offered guitars, assembled by an anonymous gentleman over his lifetime, will be auctioned at a live, two-day event (April 2-3) at the Bohemian National Center on East 73rd Street in New York City. Absentee bidders will have various options for participating, including three online bidding platforms.
The collection includes a broad array of legendary Martin, Gibson, Epiphone, Gretsch, Washburn, Stromberg, Prairie State and Larson Brothers guitars. Among the featured instruments are treasures created by such 19th century craftsmen as Antonio de Torres, Francisco Simplicio and early 20th century master John D’Angelico.
“The historical importance of these guitars is unparalleled — these are the instruments that laid the foundation of the guitar industry as we know it,” said Chris Gill, Editor-in-Chief, Guitar Aficionado. “This collection captures the transition as old-world handcraftsmanship merged with Industrial Revolution production techniques, creating very rare, high-quality instruments that showcase the various manufacturers’ creativity when they were really emerging and reaching their peak.”
While each of the 265 guitars is rare and valuable with its own distinct features and unique story, one of the most notable guitars is the 1862 Antonio de Torres Classical Guitar, which was created by Spanish master luthier Antonio de Torres, whose influential designs transformed the guitar from a meek, polite instrument suitable only for the confines of small parlors, drawing rooms and cantinas into a powerful instrument with a dynamic voice capable of filling a concert hall.
More of an innovator than inventor, Torres took pre-existing elements like a fan bracing, a larger body size and domed top and refined and improved the instrument’s overall design through painstaking attention to the finest details.
For additional information about the collection and the upcoming auction, visit www.guernseys.com or contact Guernsey’s in New York at 212-794-2280. Online bidding is available through liveauctioneers.com, invaluable.com and proxibid.com; absentee bids are also accepted.