Prince’s fan-owned ‘Diamonds And Pearls’ guitar is going to auction

It's expected to fetch between £40,000 and £80,000

An acoustic guitar that Prince used throughout the recording of his 1991 album ‘Diamonds And Pearls’ is being sold at auction by two fans.

The Fender Gemini II guitar, which was in the possession of ‘Diamonds And Pearls’ studio engineer Sylvia Massy before being acquired by two fans, is now being auctioned off.

According to Clash, the guitar was given directly from Massy to two unnamed brothers, who live in Frome, Somerset. A recent move to Spain for one of the brothers is the reason they decided to put it up for auction this March.

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A statement from one of the brother’s said: “In the six months since we bought the guitar, it’s been displayed in my brother’s living room – in what we call his Prince Corner. Lots of our friends have seen it but we’ve not let anyone play it. But now I’ve moved to Spain, it’s not practical for us to share the guitar so we’ve decided to put it up for sale.”

In a message accompanying the auction listing, the brothers wrote: “As huge Prince fans ourselves, we loved owning this amazing piece of Prince history and we hope that you enjoy displaying it as much as we have.

Prince
Prince performing live on the ‘Sign O’ The Times’ tour in 1987. Credit: FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

“In particular, one of our favourite aspects of the guitar is the clearly visible strum marks on the pick guard, we found these amazing and overwhelming to look at, as they are a clear visual imprint of music history that Prince left on this guitar. We would listen to the album and know that what we could hear was Prince leaving those very marks that we had in front of our eyes.”

Massy also provided a signed statement of provenance in November last year, which read: “I am writing this letter to confirm the authenticity of this Fender Gemini II acoustic guitar as the main production acoustic that Prince used on the album Diamonds and Pearls. As an official engineer on the project, I recorded and mixed several songs during the recording of ‘Diamonds And Pearls’ and witnessed Prince’s performances using this Fender Gemini II.

“I have saved the instrument as a memento from our sessions from 1991 to 1994 and am pleased to have the guitar preserved as a historical artifact from Prince’s amazing popular musical career. Also included is a copy of the album in CD format.”

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The auction will be held at Gardiner Houlgate in Corsham, Wiltshire on March 10. The guitar is expected to fetch between £40,000 and £80,000. For more information visit here.

In other news, Prince collaborator Sheila.E. has announced a new biopic which will tell the “beautiful story” behind her relationship with Prince.

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