Pink Floyd guitar smashes record for most expensive ever sold

David Gilmour and the 'Black Strat'.
David Gilmour and the 'Black Strat'. Photo credit: Getty

Pink Floyd legend David Gilmour has raised US$21 million (NZ$31.9 million) for a climate change charity by selling his most prized guitar collection.

Amongst the precious items auctioned off was his iconic 'Black Strat', which sold for just under US$4 million (NZ$6 million) - making it by far the most expensive guitar in history.

Gilmour purchased the guitar in 1970, and used it on classic Floyd albums including Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, as well parts of The Wall - including the solo to 'Comfortably Numb', which often tops polls of the greatest ever recorded.

"These guitars have been very good to me," Gilmour said earlier this year. "They're my friends. They have given me lots of music. I just think it’s time that they went off and served someone else. I have had my time with them.

"And of course the money that they will raise will do an enormous amount of good in the world, and that is my intention."

The previous record-holder was another Stratocaster, this one signed by 15 of the world's biggest rock stars including Paul McCartney, Bryan Adams and Eric Clapton, which fetched US$2.6 million for a charity raising money to help the victims of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.

Also sold off this week was Gilmour's Martin D-35 acoustic guitar, most notably heard on the song 'Wish You Were Here', collecting US$1 million. Gilmour once called it his favourite axe.

And a white Stratocaster guitar used to record the rhythm guitar on Floyd's biggest hit, 'Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)', went for US$1.82 million.

"The global climate crisis is the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face, and we are within a few years of the effects of global warming being irreversible," Gilmour said.

"As Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist said in a speech earlier this year, 'Either we choose to go on as a civilisation, or we don't.' The choice really is that simple, and I hope that the sale of these guitars will help ClientEarth in their cause to use the law to bring about real change."

All-up, Gilmour sold 120 guitars.