Fender Stratocaster Owned By Rory Gallagher comes to Bonhams this October

Known for his electrifying live performances, the Irish musician and songwriter Rory Gallagher (1948-1995) was an inspiration to his fans and musicians alike and is considered as one of the most esteemed guitarists of all time. 

Now the collection of Rory Gallagher will come to auction at Bonhams on 17 October in New Bond Street, London.

The Rory Gallagher Collection consists of an exceptional selection of guitars, amps and accessories from Rory Gallagher’s life and career, all offered directly from the Gallagher family. The collection is led by Gallagher’s iconic 1961 FenderStratocaster, arguably the most recognisable Strat in rock history. It will be offered with an estimate of £700,000 – 1,000,000.

Rory Gallagher bought the guitar for £100 on credit from the owner of Crowley’s Music Store in Cork, Ireland in 1963. According to legend, it may have been the first Stratocaster to ever reach Ireland. It became synonymous with Gallagher and its wear and worn finish have made it one of the world’s most iconic electric guitars. It has featured in a number of landmark exhibitions, appeared on the cover of countless guitar magazines, and has been played by the likes of Johnny Marr and Joe Bonamassa. Since 2004, Fender has created and sold replica models of the guitar as part of their artist signature series.

Claire Tole-Moir, Head of Bonhams Popular Culture department, commented: “Rory Gallagher’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster is one of the world’s most recognisable guitars. It was an enormous part of Rory Gallagher’s life and was with him from the very start of his career right until the end. It could be said that it was on this guitar that he carved out his legacy of being one of the greatest guitarists of all time. It has been treasured by Dónal Gallagher, Rory’s brother and former manager, and the Gallagher family ever since Rory’s passing in 1995. Bonhams is honoured to be entrusted with bringing this iconic Stratocaster to auction and is excited to announce the landmark sale of Rory Gallagher’s extensive collection.”

Dónal Gallagher, Rory’s brother and former manager, commented: “After nearly thirty years since my brother Rory’s passing, I now believe it’s time for other people to cherish Rory’s ’orphaned’ 1961 Fender Stratocaster and the rest of his incredible instrumentcollection. Since 1995, I have always felt that there was a mission to be fulfilled to cement Rory’s legacy and widen the knowledge of his music. So, in what is one of the most difficult and sensitive decisions to reach, I have decided to facilitate the release of his instruments for sale, so that these emblems of his legacy can be enjoyed by others.”

Speaking of Rory Gallagher’s Stratocaster Sir Brian May commented, “He was one of a very few people at that time, who could make his guitar do anything it seemed, it just seemed to be magic…I remember looking at this battered Stratocaster and thinking “how does that come out of there?”. Brian May has also said that “One of the reasons I do what I do is because of Rory.”

Sale: The Rory Gallagher Collection

Location: New Bond Street, London

Date: Thursday 17 October 2024

For further information, email press@bonhams.com

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