Johnny Winter The Auction

Auction Details

  • Auction:
    Fri, September 30: 6PM (First 200 Lots) &
    Sat, October 1: Noon to completion

  • Public Preview: (Live now)
    Wed, September 28: 2PM - 6PM
    Thurs, September 29: Noon - 7PM
    Fri, September 30: Noon - 6PM
    Sat, October 1: 10AM - Noon

  • Live Auction/Live Preview Location:
    Gibson Brands New York Showroom
    421 W 54th Street, New York, NY 10019

  • Online Bidding:

  • Absentee Bidding:
    By e-mail, mail and telephone

  • Sneak Preview: Digital Booklet (PDF)

Featured Lots

Lot 366.
1964 Gibson Firebird V

Lot 148.
c. 1965 Gibson Firebird V in "Inverness Green"

Lot 336.
Gibson Firebird V in Rare Purple

Lot 350.
Johnny Winter's First "Guitar"

Lot 294.
National Style 4 Tricone "Chrysanthemum" Guitar

Lot 432.
Johnny Winter Prototype Guitar

Lot 321. Erlewine Lazer Johnny Winter Model

Lot 399. White Erlewine Lazer

Lot 123.
Poster: Johnny Winter "Cool Daddy"

Lot 376.
Poster: Johnny Winter in Blue and Green

Lot 455.
Poster: Johnny Winter and the Allman Brothers Band

Lot 311.
1962 Beaumont High School Ring

Lot 320.
Johnny Winter’s notebooks

Lot 365.
Johnny Winter's Brown Leather Satchel

Lot 301.
AARR Membership and Shell Credit Cards

Lot 317.
Johnny Winter's Custom Cowhide-Band Cowboy Hat

Lot 337.
"JOHNNY" Belt Buckle

The Auction

“... A 130-pound, cross-eyed albino with long fleecy hair playing some of the gutsiest, fluid blues guitar you ever heard.” So said Rolling Stone in 1968 when describing a young, raw and riveting Johnny Winter. Through the decades, his music thrilled millions and for many, the treasures he left behind will be both poignant and magical. On September 30 and October 1 at Gibson Brands New York Showroom (once home to the iconic recording studio the “Hit Factory”), the Johnny Winter Collection will be sold at one wild, unreserved Guernsey’s Auction.

From his east Texas roots, Johnny Winter motored through the Austin clubs and onto a global stage. Many remember him for his distinct covers of songs including “Johnny B Goode” by Chuck Berry, and “Highway 61 Revisited” by Bob Dylan, as well as the original “Still Alive and Well” and “I’m Yours and I’m Hers.” Often accompanied by his brother Edgar, Johnny also shared the stage with his blues idols B.B. King and Muddy Waters, and gave a spectacular performance at Woodstock. At the time of his death in 2014, he was recording with Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Billy Gibbons, Joe Perry, and Brian Setzer for the album Step Back, released posthumously.

Johnny Winter is prominently included on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists, so of course no auction would be complete without his collection of three dozen guitars. Many vividly remember the musician’s love affair with Gibson’s uniquely shaped Firebirds, all five of which are in the sale, including the iconic instrument that Johnny played live with Muddy Waters. Johnny also banged out song after song on his metal resonators, the instruments he affectionately called “garbage cans with strings,” some of which were uniquely crafted for him. And though they appear almost toy-like, Winter’s three Lazer guitars gave some of the most powerful sounds of his career. These, and assorted wonderful vintage instruments, constitute the artist’s personal collection, which also includes the simple wooden ukulele—his very first guitar—that he is shown with around the age of ten in family photos.

On stage, Johnny Winter’s stiletto-thin frame was often draped in memorable outfits and customized accessories. Rings, necklaces, hats (sweat stains and all), belts, straps, scarves and more were trademarks of his style. And the auction has them all! So complete is this collection that it even includes a clump of Johnny’s actual beard with photos verifying the shearing.

For fans and collectors, there are many extremely rare rock and blues posters and vintage photographs documenting early appearances at clubs now long gone. And to be sure, these great graphics are not limited to images of Johnny; Janis Joplin, Muddy Waters, Ike and Tina Turner, B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix were just some of the fellow musicians who Johnny knew and admired, and whose items he treasured.

One of the most compelling sections of the sale will be Johnny Winter’s notebooks, handwritten in the late 1960s and ‘70s and filled page after page with songs he composed. But these notebooks, and the items noted above, only begin to give a sense of the many hundreds of lots in this two-day auction being held live at one of the coolest venues imaginable. (Of course, those unable to attend in person will be able to bid via the internet on and

To find out more about this unparalleled auction, please visit or contact the auction house directly at its NYC headquarters. But apologies in advance if during our conversation, we ramble on about the great Johnny Winter.

For additional information visit or contact Guernsey’s at 212-794-2280. For media inquiries or to request an interview, please contact Dara Busch at 212-584-4271 or

Post Auction Offers

Bidders that are interested in reviewing a list of all available lots, should check out the passed lots list. Please submit your top bid amount to, no later than Wednesday, October 12, 2016 by end of day. (Extended deadline)

Auction Sampling

For a sneak preview of the items being offered in this collection, check out the digital booklet. To request a printed copy of this booklet, which will be available on a limited basis, please call our office at 212.794.2280 or email us at

Online Bidding

Those who are interested in participating can view the full catalogue online, and leave advance absentee bids, as well as bid live as the sale is taking place at and


Interested bidders should also review the Terms & Conditions, as well as the Bidder Agreement form, and the Absentee Bid form.


Guernsey's welcomes inquiries from the media regarding both past and upcoming events. PDF copies of the press release and links to media coverage of our B.B. King Auction are available below:

Press Release (September/October 2016)

"Johnny Winter's Guitars to Go Under the Hammer in New York" (Billboard - September 1, 2016)
"NYC auction to feature blues legend Johnny Winter's guitars" (Newsday - August 31, 2016)