David Bowie's 'Major Tom' Acoustic Guitar Headed To Auction
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
April 19, 2021
A guitar formerly owned by David Bowie is headed to a U.K. auction block, expected to fetch thousands.
The 12-string Takamine acoustic guitar is dated and autographed by Bowie and inscribed in his hand with perhaps his most iconic lyric, "Ground Control to Major Tom," from the 1969 classic "Space Oddity."
The seller was given the guitar as a replacement for one purchased in a 2003 Bikers Against Drunk Drivers charity auction that arrived broken. After learning of the shipping mishap, Bowie's team sent the replacement containing this rare inscription.
The guitar came from Bowie's own collection; experts note evidence of wear on the instrument, including scratches on the pickguard that suggest Bowie played it often.
Omega Auctions auctioneer Paul Fairweather noted that Bowie is believed to have only ever included the "Space Oddity" inscription on one other guitar.
"To have a guitar signed with this inscription by one of the greatest pop stars ever, and with the impeccable provenance and documentation of the signing, is truly a rare thing indeed," Fairweather said.
Conservative expectations for the sale price of the guitar are pegged at around £7,000 — about $9,700 — or more.
Bowie's first-known studio recording, which was rejected by a record company in 1963, sold for over £40,000 at a 2018 auction by Omega.
Photo: Getty Images