Monty's Guitars brings Ed Sheeran’s badly burned Martin, gifted to him by Eric Clapton, back to life after severe fire damage

Burned and restored Martin acoustic guitar
(Image credit: Monty's Guitars/Instagram)

UK-based boutique guitar workshop, pickup maker and luthier Monty's Guitars has taken to social media to show off Ed Sheeran’s newly restored Martin acoustic guitar, which had been severely fire-damaged after it was gifted to the singer-songwriter by Eric Clapton.

A quick glance at the photos above, and the gallery below, reveals the extent of Monty’s awe-inspiring craftsmanship, having seemingly snatched the six-string back from the brink of total destruction to return it to its former glory.

The story had originally been revealed by Sheeran himself during an appearance on First We Feast’s Hot Ones, with the four-time Grammy award winner recalling the torrid tale behind the guitar’s near-extinction.

“My hero is Eric Clapton, he’s the reason I started playing guitar," Sheeran began. "I got to know him in 2015 and we’ve been friends since. One day, I went to his house, and he just took his guitar off the wall and just gave it to me. He signed the back and said, 'Just keep my guitar.'

"I kept it in my studio at home – it was the only guitar at home in the studio – and when I was on tour my friend phoned me up and said, ‘Your music studio is on fire! It’s burning to the ground!’ I was like, ‘Fuck, the guitar is in that studio!’

“The guitar comes out ruined. It’s burned to a crisp.”

Enter Sheeran’s long-time collaborator Joe Rubel, who entrusted the guitar to Monty's for a full-scale rescue operation. A year later, the guitar was good as new – if not better.

On Instagram, Monty's Guitars wrote, “Once we had looked it over it became apparent that, structurally, the guitar was pretty much sound and the damage was largely cosmetic. 

"Luckily the back with EC’s signature was really the only thing not resembling a charcoal briquette, so we decided he best thing to do was strip it, spray it and rebuild it," it continued. "We were really proud to be part of the project and thrilled that Ed was happy with the guitar!"

“It plays amazing, it looks amazing, it actually smells amazing and it still has Eric’s signature on the back,” concluded Sheeran. “So, that’s like my favorite guitar.” 

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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.