In 1999 Eric Clapton auctioned 105 of his guitars, raising $5,072,350. The 1999 auction also set a world record (since beaten by at least nine other guitars, including another of Clapton's) for the highest price ever paid for a publicly sold guitar when Clapton's "Brownie" Stratocaster brought $497,500.

In June of 2004 Clapton sold 56 more guitars for an even larger total sale price of $7,438,624, breaking his own record with the sale of "Blackie," the black and white composite Fender Stratocaster that served as Clapton's sole stage and studio guitar from 1970 until 1985. "Blackie" was sold for $959,500, becoming the most expensive guitar ever to have been sold at auction (though, also since beaten - see here). Proceeds of the sale to benefit Crossroads Centre.

While these facts alone don't necessarily fall neatly into the subject of this site, some of the guitars sold in 1999 were quite collectable archtops. The catalog pictures of select instruments and the details of the sales are presented here.

Catalog # Model Year Estimated Final
26 Gibson L-7 1940 5000-7000 $25,300
31 Gibson L-50 c.1940s 4000-6000 $23,000
33 Kalamazoo c.late1930s 1000-2000 $19,550
54 Gibson Super 400C c.1952 12000-18000 $29,900
55 Gibson Super 300C 1956 10000-12000 $29,900
101 D'Angelico 1930s 20000-30000 $63,000
102 D'Angelico Excel 1930s 20000-30000 $48,300

Sources: Christie's