Guitar used by ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman fetches record price at auction

A bass guitar once belonging to former Rolling Stones star Bill Wyman has sold at auction for a record-breaking 384,000 dollars (about £300,000).

More than 1,000 items from the rocker’s archive went under the hammer, including musical instruments, amplifiers, stage-worn ensembles, awards and personal items.

The collection contained pieces from Wyman’s three-decade stint in the Stones as well as from his solo career, and was sold at a Julien’s Auctions event in Beverly Hills.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>A bass guitar once belonging to former Rolling Stones star Bill Wyman has sold at auction for a record-breaking price (Julien’s Auctions/PA)</figcaption>
A bass guitar once belonging to former Rolling Stones star Bill Wyman has sold at auction for a record-breaking price (Julien’s Auctions/PA)

The 1969 Fender Mustang Bass, with a competition orange finish, was used by Wyman for Rolling Stones concerts and recordings in 1969 and 1970.

It is the most expensive bass guitar ever sold at auction, auctioneers said, a record that was previously held by a left-handed Hofner presented to Paul McCartney in 1964, which sold for 204,800 dollars in 2013.

Another item once belonging to Wyman, 83, fetched a world record price. His 1962 VOX AC30 Normal model amplifier went for 106,250 dollars (about £82,700).

The amplifier was used extensively by the Rolling Stones and is said to have played a key part in Wyman joining the band following his audition.

The price beat the combined sale of two amplifiers owned by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, which sold at auction in 2019 for 77,000 dollars.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>This Rolling Stones toilet seat cover may have set a world record after selling at auction in the US for about £897 (Julien’s Auctions/PA)</figcaption>
This Rolling Stones toilet seat cover may have set a world record after selling at auction in the US for about £897 (Julien’s Auctions/PA)

Auctioneers said a third “unexpected” world record may have been set. A yellow plush toilet seat cover printed with the Rolling Stones’ famous tongue logo sold for 1,152 dollars (about £897), making it possibly the most expensive toilet seat lid cover sold at auction.

Other items belonging to Wyman and sold at the weekend auction included his Ted Newman Jones Short-Scale bass (about £24,300), an early 1960s Framus Star Bass model 5/150 (about £39,850) and his Mellotron MKII model keyboard (about £63,200).

The top-selling item was a 1968 Gibson Les Paul Standard Model Gold Top guitar and case used by Stones founder Brian Jones in the band’s Rock And Roll Circus concert in 1968.

It sold for 704,000 dollars (about £547,945) – more than three times its pre-auction estimate.

A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Prince’s Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support and CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute).