A Yamaha twelve string guitar, owned by Cambridge resident and founder of Pink Floyd, Roger ‘Syd’ Barrett, sold for £19,920 at the Cheffins Art & Design Sale on Thursday 28th October. The guitar was sold by Roger Barrett’s nephew, Mark Barrett, with all proceeds being split evenly between charities MIND and the Arthur Rank Hospice. It was bought by an online bidder, based in France.

The guitar, which had a pre-sale estimate of £5,000 - £10,000, was mentioned by Roger Barrett in his famous 1971 Rolling Stone Magazine interview by Mick Rock, which was conducted at Barrett’s mother’s house, 183 Hills Road, Cambridge.  The guitar was sold together with a copy of the Rolling Stone Magazine.

Roger 'Syd' Barrett's Yamaha guitar 

Mark Barrett, Roger Barrett’s nephew comments: “We were thrilled with the result of the guitar and are pleased that it will be going to someone who will appreciate it. It’s been in our family loft for years so I hope that it will give someone else as much joy as it did my uncle. The funds from the sale will be going to two really important causes, MIND in memory of my uncle Roger and The Arthur Rank Hospice in memory of my father.” 

The guitar has a serial number of 1090448 with a date code for 21st October 1969. Also consigned from the Barrett family was also a garden table, which was home-made by Roger Barrett, and sold for £2,365.50 to the same online bidder from France, against an estimate of £200 - £400. In addition, there was a pair of wall-mounted spotlights which were removed from the basement studio, at the Barrett family home on 183 Hills Road where Syd would write and play as a young man. These sold for £258.80 to an UK bidder in the room against an estimate of £100 - £200.

From Barrett’s younger years, there was an original Cambridgeshire High School for Boys photograph from 1959, featuring Roger Barrett, Roger Waters and Storm Thorgerson, together with a Cantabrigian programme for ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ from 1961 featuring Barrett as Tom Twist, which sold for £744.38 against an estimate of £100 - £200.

For general Pink Floyd interest, also available were two ‘Jokers Wild’ calling cards, circa 1964, which were designed by guitarist Johnny Gordon and have Dave Gilmour’s name and his Grantchester Meadows address included and sold for £517.60 to a UK buyer. In addition, a giclee print from the 1967 cover of the Pink Floyd album ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ by prominent photographer Vic Singh, which was signed in pencil and comes with an accompanying letter of authenticity and sold for £1,369.50 against an estimate of £400 - £600, whilst a first impression LP of ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ which was consigned from Viv ‘Twig’ Brans, Roger Barrett’s girlfriend in the mid-1960s, sold for £1,058 against an estimate £300 - £500, both to a Canada-based buyer.

Martin Millard, Director, Cheffins says: “We had a number of Pink Floyd superfans present at the sale and with successful bidders from across the globe, the legend of Syd clearly lives on. The guitar saw a huge amount of pre-sale interest on an international scale and goes to show that his cult-like status as one of the greatest icons in the world of music still holds true. Despite Syd’s Pink Floyd years being marred by drug addiction and struggles with mental health, he was one of the UK’s greatest musical talents and one of Cambridge’s greatest exports and we were honoured to have had the opportunity to offer these important items for sale.”

Cheffins sold a painting titled Orange Dahlias in a Vase by Syd Barrett in May 2021 for £28,270, over five-times its pre-sale estimate. Following his death in 2006, Cheffins sold the contents of Barrett’s home in Cambridge at no. 6 St Margaret’s Square, where he had lived since 1981.


Auction: The Art & Design Sale – 28th October 2021 from 11am
Location: Cheffins, Clifton House, 1-2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, UK, CB1 7EA