Bernie Marsden guitar auction delayed following guitar hero’s death

Bernie Marsden
(Image credit: Future)

Gardiner Houlgate has announced its upcoming Bernie Marsden guitar auction will be postponed following the death of the influential guitar player.

Former Whitesnake guitarist Marsden – whose contributions to the blues and rock genres continues to influence new generations of players – sadly passed away last week, prompting an outpouring of tributes from the wider music world.

Before his death, Marsden had been working alongside Gardiner Houlgate for a mammoth Bernie Marsden Collection sale, which was scheduled to see the sale of numerous electric guitars, acoustic guitars and guitar amps that once belonged to the guitarist.

It had initially been scheduled for later this year, but now the auction house has confirmed it will postpone the sale for “an appropriate period” as a mark of respect.

“Following the extremely sad news of Bernie Marsden’s passing last week, it has been decided that the sale of the Bernie Marsden Collection will be postponed until further notice,” Gardiner Houlgate wrote in an update. “Bernie was one of the most loved figures in the guitar community and following discussions with the family we have decided there should be an appropriate period before any event takes place as a mark of respect. 

“We will make a further announcement regarding a future sale date following this period of mourning.”

Notably, the auction will be Gardiner Houlgate’s second Bernie Marsden sale, following a Part One event that took place in 2020 – and it is not the only Marsden gear sale that had been planned for 2023.

The Here I Go Again co-writer had also partnered with UK vintage guitar dealer ATB Guitars for a separate sale, which had planned to host some of Marsden’s most precious prized possessions.

At one point, even The Beast – Bernie’s iconic ‘59 Gibson Les Paul Burst, which he once presented to Guitarist during a hands-on account of its history – was part of the ATB event, listing for a cool $1.3 million.

However, Marsden withdrew his classic single-cut from the sale following “some constructive conversations” with his family.

As for the Gardiner Houlgate auction, highlights from the Marsden drop included a 2000 John Cruz Masterbuilt Rory Gallagher Stratocaster, stage-used 1980 Whitesnake-era Gibson Explorer and Gibson L-37 archtop from around 1935.

To keep up to date with further updates, head to Gardiner Houlgate.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.