Eric Clapton guitar

Eric Clapton’s 1974 000-28 Martin acoustic guitar, sold for £280,000 at Bonhams.

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Two guitars featured on major 1970s hits sold at auction this week at Bonhams and Gardiner Houlgate.

Eric Clapton’s 1974 000-28 Martin acoustic guitar used to write Wonderful Tonight sold for £280,000 at Bonhams on June 12 (plus 27% buyer's premium). Complete with cigarette burns and a sticker on the side reading 'She’s in Love with a Rodeo Man' – a reference to songwriter Don Williams – it was estimated at £300,000-400,000.

The song symbolised the romantic rivalry between Clapton and George Harrison, who was married to Boyd at the time of Wonderful Tonight being written.

Boyd’s collection of letters and photographs shedding a light on the love triangle sold for £2.8m at Christie’s on March 23. The former fashion model divorced Harrison in 1977 and married Clapton in 1979.

Wuthering Heights guitar

Ian Bairnson's guitar

Ian Bairnson's 1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom with cherry sunburst finish and other equipment, £17,000 at Gardiner Houlgate. 

That was preceded by the sale of Ian Bairnson’s guitar featured in the solo of Kate Bush’s debut hit Wuthering Heights which hammered down for £17,000 at Gardiner Houlgate on June 11 (plus 24% buyer's premium).  

Wuthering Heights was based on Emily Brontë’s novel of the same name and written by Bush when she was just 18 years old. The 1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom with cherry sunburst finish is heard at the end of the track and carried an estimate of £5000-10,000 going into the sale.

"What a result!" auctioneer Luke Hobbs said to ATG after the sale. "Well deserved for a guitar with so much history.

"It’s great to know that the guitar is also staying in the UK and going to fan. The whole collection was hotly contested and exceeded expectations."

Bairnson died last year aged 70 and the guitar was one of 30 lots belonging to the late musician in the four-day Bernie Marsden Collection sale along with 11 other guitars, amps and other equipment.

The sales follow a string of guitar sales over the last month. In May, John Lennon’s 12-string hootenanny guitar used in hit single Help! sold at an auction in New York for $2.25m/£1.77m ($2.9m inclusive of fees) at Julien’s Auctions in New York – setting a record for a Beatles guitar sold at auction.