Actor Richard Gere unloaded his vintage guitar and amplifier collection at Christie’s New York auction house Tuesday to the tune of nearly $1 million.
Gere, an active philanthropist for Tibet and HIV-AIDS education, revealed he sold the collection, comprised of 110 guitars and amps made by manufactures such as CF Martin, Gibson, Fender and Gretsch, as a part of his ongoing effort to support global humanitarian causes.
Key pieces in the 62-year-old Pretty Woman star’s set included a 1960 Gibson Les Paul that fetched $98,500, a 1931 Martin D-28 that hauled in $62,500, and a 1958 Gibson Flying V, which sold for $74,500.
“They have been my true friends through the best and worst of times,” said Gere, referring to his collection. “I never planned to put together a collection. I just bought ones that I liked, the ones that sounded good and played well.”
In addition to the vintage instruments already mentioned, Gear, who studied trumpet and taught himself how to play piano and guitar, also parted with guitars formally owned by famous musicians such as Albert King, Peter Tosh and James D’Aquisto.
Following the auction, the Gere told reporters, “Although it’s more than a little painful to let them go, each one has been played, loved and appreciated – and will be again.”