Ian Curtis’ white pentagonal shaped Vox Phantom VI Special Guitar is going up for auction tomorrow, October 13th at Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Sale, and is expected to be sold between £60,000 and £80,000.
This one-of-a-kind guitar was played by Curtis in the Joy Division music video for Love Will Tear Us Apart, released by the band weeks after Curtis’ death and filmed by the group shortly before the singer died.
After Ian Curtis’ death in 1980, the guitar went to Joy Division’s lead guitarist and keyboardist Bernard Sumner. It was later gifted to Curtis’ daughter Natalie for her 18th birthday. Natalie was just one year old when Curtis died aged 23 in 1980. She said about the guitar:
“The guitar came to me at a time in my life when I was keen to learn more about my late father. I’m not at all musical, yet it is fascinating to see my father’s guitar, I mean, it’s such a personal thing. Since I’m a visual person, the Phantom is especially interesting to me, as the design is rather unusual. I grew up around and have worked with musicians, and although I’ve seen a lot of guitars, I’ve never seen anything like this. From everything I’ve been told about my father, he was very obsessed with how things looked, and so to me the Phantom makes sense as it very much feels like Ian Curtis’s guitar.”