Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler Auctions Off Guitar Collection. Some Go For Hundreds Of Thousands More Than Expected


Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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Christie’s auctioned off amps and guitars owned by Dire Strait’s frontman, Mark Knopfler, for more than $11 million Jan. 31.

The collection that was put up for auction included 120 instruments and gear that Knopfler accumulated over the course of his 50-year career in the music industry. The Dire Straits alum donated 25% of the money raised at auction to charity. The items may no longer belong to the rock star, but he does have a wish for the future of the prized equipment.

“I hope they all get played,” he told BBC News in November. “I don’t think they do too well living in a case all their lives.”

Christie’s in London kicked off the sales with a 1959 Vintage Gibson Les Paul Standard, which was sold for $884,000, setting a new world auction record for the model, according to BBC.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 18: A Fender Mark Knopfler Signature Stratocaster electric guitar (R)(reserve price £4,000-6,000) owned by musician Mark Knopfler is seen at a media event to promote an upcoming sale of his collection at the Christie’s auction house, on January 18, 2024 in London, England. Centered on the collection of the celebrated lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter of the iconic British band Dire Straits, Christie’s is auctioning more than 120 guitars and amps from his 50-year career on 31 January 2024. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND – SEPTEMEBER 20: Dire Straits front man Mark Knopfler plays “Local Hero” on the Millenium Bridge on September 20, 2003 in Newcastle, England. The song is the adopted theme tune for tomorrow’s Great North Run which is expected to be the world’s largest half marathon. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

BURBANK, CA – OCTOBER 5: Musician Mark Knopfler appears on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” at the NBC Studios on October 5, 2004 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

MADRID, SPAIN – JULY 29: Mark Knopfler performs in concert at Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas on July 29, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images)

BOCHUM, GERMANY – MARCH 12: (L-R) Mark Knopfler, Klaus Meine and Roger Daltrey attend the Steiger Award 2011 at the Jahrhunderthalle on March 12, 2011 in Bochum, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Many of the items on the auction block far surpassed original billing estimates, including Knopfler’s 1988 Pensa-Suhr MK-1, which he played at Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday tribute concert in June 1988. It was estimated to attract a $10,000 bid, but ended up selling for $643,000.


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The Dire Straits’ frontman also received a lot of attention for his Red Schecter Telecaster that he used on the Dire Straits hit, “Walk of Life.” This particular guitar was known as his “longest serving and most heavily toured instruments” and was estimated to sell for $7,600. The instrument blew original estimates out of the water by selling for $530,000 through Christie’s London, according to BBC.

Bidders and buyers tuned in from 61 countries around the globe. At least a quarter of all proceeds raised were directed to the British Red Cross, Tusk and Brave Hearts of the North East.


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In addition to those charities, the Teenage Cancer Trust collected the money raised from Knopfler’s 2021 Gibson Les Paul “gold top” guitar . This stunning instrument came with a slew of rock star signatures, including autographs from  the late Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and Slash, according to BBC. (RELATED: Kirstie Alley’s Children Announce Estate Sale To Share The Star’s Items With Fans)


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Knopfler is currently working on his 10th solo studio album, “One Deep River,” slated for release April 12.