Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett's guitar to be sold at auction in Cambridge

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A guitar once owned by Pink Floyd founder member Syd Barrett will be sold in Cambridge at auction later this week.

The singer lived in the basement of his mother's house in Hills Road in Cambridge after leaving the band in 1968, just as they were about the achieve worldwide recognition.

He died of pancreatic cancer in 2006 at the age of 60.

The guitar went on display at Cheffins in Cambridge on Sunday (24th October) and will be sold on Thursday (28th).

The guitar is being sold by his nephew, Mark Barrett, 57, with proceeds to be split evenly between mental health charity Mind and the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridgeshire.

Barrett mentioned the 12-string Yamaha acoustic guitar in a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

"It's my new 12-string guitar," said the musician, "I'm just getting used to it. I polished it yesterday."

The guitar, being sold together with a copy of the Rolling Stone magazine, has a pre-sale estimate of between £5,000 and £10,000.

Mark Barrett said the guitar was stored with his father, Alan Barrett - Syd's brother - after the Hills Road house was sold in 1974.

The guitar is being sold with a copy of Rolling Stone Magazine Credit: Cheffins

He said his uncle "never collected the guitar" and his father "continued to store it over three subsequent house moves, eventually offering it to me" after Syd's death.

"I finally collected it from my father's house in November of 2020, shortly before he died," he said. "Unfortunately, I never got to know my uncle Roger, though I would have loved to, but he was a recluse in his later years."

Martin Millard, director at Cheffins, said: "Syd Barrett still has a cult-like status as one of the greatest icons in the world of music. Syd's Pink Floyd years were turbulent, marred by drug addiction and struggles with his mental health; however, when he retired to Cambridge, he became a recluse.

The auction house director said that his lack of public presence in his later years only add to the intrigue which still surrounds the musician.

"It therefore seems incredibly fitting that Mark Barrett has chosen to support both Mind and the Arthur Rank Hospice with the proceeds of the sale," said Mr Millard.

The auction will take place on Thursday October 28.