Hundreds of Mark Knopfler-owned guitars and amps and going up for auction at Christie’s – here are some of the highlights
Fans who want to add a piece of Dire Straits history to their gear collection, now’s your chance to do so at the Mark Knopfler Guitar Collection auction hosted by Christie’s.
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The collection, which comprises over 100 guitars and amps from Knopfler’s 50-year career, is on show at Christie’s auction house ahead of the 31 January sale at London.
In a new video introducing some of the collection’s best, Kerry Keane, Christie’s specialist consultant for musical instruments takes us on a deep dive into three of the Dire Straits frontman’s most iconic guitars.
Starting with one of Knopfler’s most recognisable instruments – the 1983 Gibson Les Paul Standard ’59 reissue that the guitarist used on the track Money for Nothing. “It’s the first Les Paul that Mark Knopfler owned,” says Keane. “He bought it in ‘84 and [it’s] the first one he really played on and it turned his playing around.”
“It’s the first time we start to hear Mark Knopfler really driving the guitar, driving the tonal quality and getting that distortion that these guitars are so famous for.”
Also featured is a 1988 Pensa-Suhr MK1 custom served as Mark’s beloved workhorse between 1988-1992. Initially conceived by luthier John Suhr as a crossover between a Les Paul and a Strat, the guitar proved to be markedly different from Knopfler’s previous six-strings.
“Mark Knopfler, as we talked about before, he’s mostly a single coil player,” Keane explains. “So he’s playing on Strats, Strat copies, Teles, Telecaster copies, but he is now switching and using a Les Paul fit with humbuckers. He wanted a guitar that could do both, and this is the instrument that he helped design to do it.”
“He can sound Tele, he can sound Strat, he can sound like a Les Paul. [With this] he doesn’t have to change guitars on stage as much.”
And finally, we have the 1983 red Schecter T-style electric that Knopfler famously penned, recorded, and performed Walk Of Life on “over and over again”. As one of the guitarist’s most heavily-toured instruments, the Schecter, as Keane points out, has “a lot of crackled ure” and “belt buckle wear” on its back.
“But tough, tough finish on here. Again, I think if this had been a Fender you would have lost most of it by now,” he adds.
Check out the full video below.
Learn more about the Mark Knopfler Guitar Collection at Christie’s.
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