Dire Straits star and North East musician Mark Knopfler will auction more than 120 of his guitars and amps, saying it is time for his “old friends” to have “new adventures with new owners”.

The frontman of the British rock band will auction instruments that span his 50-year career, with 25 per cent of the proceeds going to charity.

The collection, to be sold at auction house Christie’s, includes guitars he used to write, record and perform his compositions for Dire Straits, which include the hits Brothers In Arms, Romeo And Juliet and Money For Nothing, as well as numerous solo albums and soundtracks for films such as Local Hero.

The Northern Echo: Mark KnopflerMark Knopfler (Image: PA MEDIA)

Also included in the collection are guitars made by Gibson, Fender and Martin alongside custom-built models by Rudy Pensa and John Suhr, and bespoke examples crafted by luthiers from across the globe.

Among the collection is a 1959 Gibson Les Paul guitar, which is estimated to fetch between £300,000 and £500,000.

Knopfler, who was born in Glasgow but grew up in Blyth, in Northumberland, said: “Wherever I go I’m still crossing streets to look at guitars in the windows of music shops. I’ve done that since I was a little kid.

“I’ve lived with this love affair for over 60 years. That has meant a passion for all kinds of guitars: the impossible dreams and plenty of the less expensive ones, too. As a career in music made it possible for me to realise some of those dreams, guitars of all shapes and sizes began to appear.

“It’s time to take some of these treasured six-string companions out of their cases and leave them in the care of Christie’s to allow them to have new adventures with new owners.

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“You can be sure I’ll be sad to see them go but we’ve had wonderful times together and I can’t play them all. To you fellow players, enthusiasts and collectors, I wish you many good times with these old friends of mine.”

Some 25 per cent of the total hammer price will be divided equally and donated to The British Red Cross, Tusk and Brave Hearts of the North East.

The auction will take place at Christie’s in London on January 31, 2024.