This guitar's famous owner means it could be worth over £750,000

Gerry Garcia's Wolf guitar

A guitar custom-made for one of the most iconic musicians of the 1960s is due to go under the hammer at the end of this month - and every cent of the sale price will go to a good cause.

Named 'Wolf', the guitar is said to have been the favourite instrument of Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. It first appeared in a 1973 New York City performance that the band laid on for the Hell's Angels and was played frequently by Garcia during the 70s.

It features widely in the 1977 film The Grateful Dead Movie, and had its last outing in 1993 at the Oakland Coliseum.

Garcia playing the guitar

Grateful Dead guitar sold for £340,000 at auction

Some years after Garcia died, Wolf was given to luthier Doug Irwin, who'd originally created it. It was sold in 2002 for nearly £1 million - more than twice the existing world record.

That buyer - a devoted 'Deadhead' - has now decided to sell the guitar and give the entire proceeds to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which fights racism and hate groups.

"I've been a fan of The Dead since I was a kid, and playing this iconic guitar over the past 15 years has been a privilege. But the time is right for Wolf to do some good," he says.

"My wife and I have long supported the efforts of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and if ever we needed the SPLC, we sure do need them now."

Elvis Presley's guitar sells for £185,000

And the auction itself will be quite an occasion. To be held on May 31, it will follow an evening of music at New York's Brooklyn Bowl.

So far, the most expensive guitar sold at auction was a Fender Stratocaster signed by Bryan Adams, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. Sold in 2005, the $2.7 million sale price went to the Reach Out to Asia charity.

Prince's 'Yellow Cloud' guitar sold for £104,000

But it's possible to pick up a guitar with a famous history for a lot less cash than this. Last summer, for example, the 'Yellow Cloud' guitar used by Prince throughout the 1990s went for a remarkably reasonable £104,000.

Even a 1969 custom Gibson Ebony Dove guitar played by Elvis Presley made only £185,000 in January last year.

10 incredible auctions
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10 incredible auctions

The most expensive watch ever sold at auction fetched just under $24 million in November 2014. The gold pocket watch was made by Patek Philippe, and is the most complex ever made without the use of computer technology.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication was commissioned in 1925, and took eight years to make.

The world's most expensive stamp sold at auction in 2014 for over $9 million.

The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is as rare as a stamp can get. British Guiana was one of the first countries in the New World to start issuing stamps, but in 1856, they ran out, and asked the local newspaper printer to produce extras.

There were two denominations: the four-cent, which is very rare, and the one-cent - of which only one has ever been discovered.

In May 2015, an anonymous London businesswoman snapped up the licence plate KR15 HNA for £233,000, making it the most expensive standard number plate ever to be sold in the UK.

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction for £6,200, along with a pair of her silk stockings.

They have a 52-inch waist, and belonged to the monarch in the 1890s - "towards the end of her life when she had eaten a lot more than most people could afford to," said auctioneer Michael Hogben. In today's sizing, they'd be a size 26.

In 2014, a three-year-old slice of cake sold at auction for $7,500 (£4,800). The reason the stale cake was in such demand was that it was from the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

The buyer said he intended to give it away as part of promoting his Silicon Valley start-up.

A British coin sold at auction for a record-breaking £430,000 in 2014. After fees, the buyer paid £516,000 - making it the most expensive modern British coin ever to be sold.

The coin is only one of two in existence. It was a 'proof' for a gold sovereign which was meant to be produced to commemorate the coronation of Edward VIII in 1937. However, Edward abdicated in 1936, so the coronation never happened and the coins were never made


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