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Noel Gallagher’s Gibson ES-355, reportedly behind Oasis split, sells for more than $400,000

Noel Gallagher and his Gibson ES-355
(Image credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns via Getty / Artpèges)

Noel Gallagher’s once-prized Gibson ES-355 – the electric guitar reportedly behind the break-up of Oasis – has sold for €385,500 (approximately $403,254) after it was put up for auction last month.

The Bigsby-equipped beauty sold for less than what the auction host, Artpèges Gallery, had anticipated, and pulled in just under its $550,000 estimation.

Nevertheless, It’s still a significant sum of money – not quite enough to get it on the list of most expensive guitars ever sold at auction, mind – and one that was commanded by the ES-355’s association with both the Gallagher brother and Oasis’ volatile split in 2009.

As the story goes, the ES-355 in question was present when Oasis were gearing up to hit the stage for their headline slot at 2009’s Rock en Seine festival in Paris.

Noel Gallagher Gibson ES-355

(Image credit: Artpèges Gallery)

Minutes before the group were set to make their appearance, however, Noel and his brother Liam were reportedly engaged in a bust-up that resulted in the ultimate destruction of the guitar, with Noel alleging his brother had smashed his prized six-string.

The damage was extensive, leaving the ES-355 in need of a neck refit after it had been detached from the body.

A few years after it had been battered and bruised, the guitar was restored by Philippe Dubreuille – a luthier who has worked on instruments for Jeff Beck, Iggy Pop and Mark Ronson. From then on, it joined the rest of Gallagher’s High Flying Birds six-string lineup.

Noel Gallagher Gibson ES-355

(Image credit: Artpèges Gallery)

It’s notable that, although Gallagher was synonymous with a cherry red, gold hardware-equipped Gibson, the model that has been sold wasn’t his number one ES-355. Instead, the axe in question – identifiable from its longer pickguard – usually filled the second chair to Gallagher’s main example. 

Per The Guardian (opens in new tab), Artpèges co-founder Arthur Perault said he was “pretty happy” with the outcome of the auction, which took place at the Hôtel Drouot yesterday (May 17).

To find out more about the guitar and its story, head over to Artpèges (opens in new tab).

In other Gallagher news, the songwriting powerhouse's near-mythical relationship with the ES-355 model is set to continue with renewed life, after he teased he'll be teaming up with Gibson later this year for a signature version of his beloved Cherry Red six-string.

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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.