“Brownie” is a 1956 Fender Stratocaster with a sunburst finish, maple neck, skunk-stripe routing and dot inlays once owned by Eric Clapton. Manufactured in June 1956, it is serial number 12073.
Eric Clapton bought the guitar that came to be known as Brownie in 1967. Clapton used the guitar in 1970 to record the classic album “Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs”. Brownie is also pictured on the back of the "Layla" album cover. Brownie can also be seen on the cover of his first solo album, “Eric Clapton” (1970). After 1970, Brownie served as the back-up for Eric Clapton’s main Fender Stratocaster, Blackie.
Eric Clapton sold Brownie on 24 June 1999 at Christie’s Auction House, New York to raise funds for Crossroads Centre at Antigua (an alcohol and drug treatment centre) which he founded in 1997. Brownie sold for $450,000 (not including buyer’s premium) and became the most expensive guitar ever. This record fell two years later when one of Jerry Garcia’s guitars was sold at auction. From 24 June 2004, the distinction for world’s most expensive guitar sold at auction was held by Eric’s most famous Fender Stratocaster, Blackie. That record was also broken in subsequent years.
In 2004, Fender G.B Ireland named Brownie the number one stratocaster “to die for”. Read the full article at
Ten Stratocasters Guitars To Die For.