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  • Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 15 October 2020

RELEASE: Taylor Swift’s Gibson Acoustic Guitar Joins Dolly Parton’s Dulcimer in Star-Studded Country Music Auction | CHRISTIE'S Oct 15-29 online

Taylor Swift’s live debut performance of “betty” on her black Gibson acoustic at the 2020 ACM Awards © Getty Images | Courtesy of the Academy of Country Music

NEW YORK – Christie’s announces the full star-studded Country Music line-up for the online auction entitled NASHVILLE: An Auction to Benefit ACM Lifting Lives® COVID-19 Response Fund” open for bidding October 15-29 on christies.com/Nashville. In addition to the previously announced Swarovski-crystal bedazzled four-string dulcimer owned by Dolly Parton for 30 years, the sale features a stunning black 2018 Gibson acoustic guitar personally inscribed and dated by global superstar Taylor Swift (estimate: $25,000-40,000). The lot includes the original hard-shell case, embroidered Levy guitar strap (pictured) and plectrum caddy containing five personalized Taylor Swift custom guitar picks including one commemorating her 2017 sixth studio album reputation and her record-breaking stadium tour and four commemorating her 2019 seventh studio album Lover. Played during Swift’s live, world premiere debut of her folklore single “betty” at the 2020 ACM Awards show at Nashville’s legendary Grand Ole Opry House, her appearance marked a return to the ACM stage after seven years.

Dolly Parton comments: “Seeing my country music community suffer due to the pandemic has broken my heart. It was important to donate the dulcimer that was designed for my 50th Opry Anniversary so we can raise awareness and much needed funds to keep these folks on their feet before we can open the doors to our stages once again.”

Other auction highlights include Sheryl Crow’s vintage Baldoni accordion (estimate: $8,000-12,000) which has an extensive and important studio and live performance history. Made circa 1940 in Castelfidardo, Italy, the accordion has a rhinestone-studded logo, has been owned by the artist since the nineties and used in the 1996 recording of her second album “Sheryl Crow.” The accordion was played in numerous memorable performances including her 1997 Lilith Fair live performance of “Strong Enough”; the 1997 VH1 Honors show performing Back in the High Lifewith Steve Winwood; the 1998 Global Sessions tour; as well as appearances with Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm, Marty Stuart and others.

Additional important musical instruments in the sale include Keith Urban’s Hi-9 semi-solid body electric guitar played in Urban’s 2018 Coming Home video from the album Graffiti U and on the 2018 ACM Awards Show (estimate: $5,000-10,000); Bradley Cooper’s semi-hollow body electric Gibson guitar (estimate: $2,000-4,000) used by Cooper as “Jackson Maine” alongside Lady Gaga throughout rehearsals and filming of the 2019 blockbuster “A Star is Born”; and Dwight Yoakam’s first ever owned Epiphone Casino guitar with hard shell case from the cover of his 2005 16th studio album Blame the Vain (estimate: $3,000-5,000). The auction also offers signed guitars from Vince Gill, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and more (estimates range from $500 to $2,000).

In addition to instruments, the sale features Tim McGraw’s F131 HELLCAT MOTORCYCLE, 2007 by Curtiss Motors (estimate: $30,000-50,000). A gift from long-time friend NFL quarterback and Hall of Famer Brett Favre, the bike boasts 137 horsepower and is equipped with a vast array of must-have features. Also included in the sale is “HAGGARD” a 2019 work by Visual Artist and Academy Award-winning songwriter Bernie Taupin, saluting the lyrics of American county singer Merle Haggard from his 1970 epic “The Fighting Side of Me” (estimate: $15,000-20,000).

The stellar line up of items contributed by artists includes a circa 1930 acoustic guitar from Little Big Town; ephemera from documentary documentarian and filmmaker of Country Music Ken Burns and Country artist Marty Stuart, along with performance wear worn by Reba McEntire, Billy Bob Thornton, reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Carrie Underwood and Trisha Yearwood, custom and stage worn cowboy boots from Miranda Lambert as well as Clint Black including one of his iconic harmonicas (estimates range from $300 to $2,000).

Lyndsay Cruz, Executive Director, ACM Lifting Lives, comments: “We are immensely grateful to the artists in the Nashville community and beyond who have generously donated items for this auction in collaboration with Christie’s. Every winning bid will go towards our COVID-19 Response Fund to support the workers of our Country Music community: the tour bus drivers, aspiring musicians, techs and venue workers – so many of whom have lost their livelihoods overnight during the course of this pandemic. So far, the fund has distributed $1.5 million and we are hoping the sale of these iconic items will enable us to support more affected by this crisis.”

Nancy Valentino, Strategic Business and Client Development, Christie’s, comments: “Christie’s is honored to work with the Country Music community in Nashville and partner with ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund to support the frontline workers who are in need at this time. We are excited to be presenting this collection of important instruments and ephemera from legendary artists; their participation speaks to the philanthropic hearts of the Nashville community taking care of its own.”    

“NASHVILLE: An Auction to benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund, visit: www.christies.com/nashville.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.