'Holy Grail' of Depeche Mode musical memorabilia for sale

It's been described as the Holy Grail of Depeche Mode music memorabilia - The Les Paul guitar owned by Martin Gore is to be auctioned with a £5,000 - £10,000 estimate.

Martin Gore Depeche Mode guitar to be sold at Omega Auctions
Image: Omega Auctions


Formed in 1980, Depeche Mode are a British electronic band who have sold over 100 million records. The original line up was Martin Gore, Dave Gahan, Andy Fletcher and Vince Clarke.

Omega Auctions are now offering Martin Gore's 1970's Columbus Les Paul electric guitar, in their 7th February Audio Equipment and Music Memorabillia Sale.

Gore originally sold the guitar in 1979 and used the proceeds to purchase a snythesizer, a Yamaha CS5, to help form his new band, Depeche Mode. 

Prior to appearing at Omega the guitar had been reoffered to Gore, who confirmed the authenticity of the guitar in correspondence with his guitar technician. 

The vendor has supplied a detailed letter of provenance explaining how he came to purchase the guitar from the young Martin Gore in 1979:

"In 1979, I was living with my parents at 109 The Knares, Lee Chapel South, Basildon... In September 1979 I saw an advert from someone selling an electric guitar... I contacted the guy and visited his terraced house in Lee Chapel North, where he lived with his parents... We went up to his bedroom, where he demonstrated the black Columbus Les Paul copy guitar to me. He pointed out that the guitar had an impact mark on the body, which he had cloaked with a white US star badge, from an Airfix aeroplane kit decal. I believe he said he didn’t want his dad to see he had damaged it. He said he was selling the guitar to fund the purchase of a new keyboard/synthesiser."

The vendor goes on to describe Gore:

"He struck me as a rather eccentric guy – very enthusiastic and talkative, but similarly slightly shy, which seems like a contradiction."

Band member Andy Fletcher died in May 2022, but Gore and Gahan continue to perform as Depeche Mode with their latest album Memento Mori debuting in October 2022 with a world tour commencing in March 2023.

To date the band have played live to over 35,000,000 fans at concerts around the world, so there should be no shortage of Depeche Mode fans interested in this unique piece of music history.

View the Lot at Omega Auctions.

About your Author:

Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.

Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.

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