Several guitars belonging to Dire Straits founder Mark Knopfler (74) achieved world record bids at an auction at the London auction house Christie’s. A rare “Gibson Les Paul Standard” from 1959, which was considered the highlight of the auction, was sold for the equivalent of almost 813,000 euros (693,000 pounds). The coveted instrument, which the guitarist and singer purchased in 1999, fetched more than the previously estimated 580,000 euros and also significantly exceeded the previous record of almost 540,000 euros from last year.

A Pensa-Suhr electric guitar, built in 1988, for which bids between 7,000 and 9,300 euros were expected, went under the hammer for the equivalent of 590,000 euros (504,000 pounds). This exceeded the previous record price from 1999 by more than ten times. The instrument was Knopfler’s most used electric guitar between 1988 and 1992. Among other things, the musician played it when he appeared with Dire Straits as a headliner at the concert for Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday at London’s Wembley Stadium in 1988.

A world record was also set by a Schecter guitar from 1983, which can be heard on the 1985 Dire Straits hit “Walk Of Life”, and which Knopfler then played with his band on the gigantic “Brothers In Arms” tour. The red electric guitar fetched more than a hundred times the estimated price. The highest bid was around 488,000 euros (415,800 pounds).

Played at the “Live Aid” concert

Not a world record, but a new edition of the “Gibson Les Paul Standard ’59” from 1983 also changed hands for a spectacular price. Knopfler had played them on the recordings of “Money For Nothing” and “Brothers In Arms” and at the historic “Live Aid” concert. The 12,000 to 17,000 euros expected by Christie’s were quickly reached. In the end, the hammer fell for the electric guitar at around 694,000 euros (around 592,000 pounds).

The traditional auction house Christie’s auctioned off a total of around 120 guitars and other instruments from Mark Knopfler’s collection on Wednesday. The auction, which began at midday, lasted until the evening hours. Knopfler, who will release his new studio album “One Deep River” on April 12, announced that he will donate a portion of the proceeds to various charitable causes.