Eric Clapton's "The Fool" guitar has sold at auction for a whopping $1.27 million (£1.03 million).

The six-string 1964 custom "Summer of Love" Gibson SG went under the hammer via Julien’s Auctions in Nashville last week.

The guitar hero used the instrument to record his former band Cream's 1967 album Disraeli Gears. It got its name from the Dutch art collective The Fool.

Clapton gave the guitar to his longtime friend George Harrison - who passed away in 2001 aged 58 - and since the Beatle's death, it's had a couple of owners.

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Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions said: “Eric Clapton’s The Fool, one of the most important guitars in all of rock music history has made history once again tonight at our auction. To have this legendary guitar that created and defined the classic rock sound that is an art masterpiece and symbol of the psychedelic ‘Summer of Love’ era go to Jim Irsay’s renowned memorabilia collection is another great privilege and hallmark of my career and a highlight of Julien’s Auctions twenty-year anniversary celebration this year.”

A portion of the funds will benefit Kicking The Stigma, The Indianapolis Colts and Irsay Family’s mental health awareness program.

Eric Clapton has generously gifted his guitars over the years, and Ed Sheeran was one of those lucky enough to receive one of them. However, it had to be restored after being "burnt to a crisp."

The 32-year-old star has been friends with the "Wonderful Tonight" legend for six years, and he was worried when the instrument was badly damaged in a fire at his studio.

Appearing on the YouTube show Hot Ones in 2021, Ed said, "My hero is Eric. When I was 11, I heard 'Layla,' picked up a guitar and went from there. I got to know him in 2015 and we’ve been friends ever since. I went to his house, and he took his guitar off the wall and just gave it to me. He signed the back and said, ‘Keep my guitar’. I was like, ‘F. Cool.'"

“It was the only guitar in my studio at home and I was on tour and the person looking after my house phoned me up and said, ‘Your music studio is on fire’, and I was like, ‘F! The guitar is in that studio.’ The guitar comes out and it’s burnt to a crisp."

Thankfully for Ed, a friend was able to fix the precious guitar - with the autograph still intact - although it was left smelling "like a burnt house".

He added: "He brought it back totally restored, but now it smells like a burnt house. But it plays amazing, looks amazing, actually kind of smells amazing and it still has Eric’s signature on it. That’s my favorite guitar.”

After the fire in 2019, the guitar was restored by Monty's Guitars, and a post on the company's Instagram revealed the work they did.

They wrote, "Once we had looked it over it became apparent that, structurally, the guitar was pretty much sound and the damage was largely cosmetic. Luckily the back with EC’s signature was really the only thing not resembling a charcoal briquette, so we decided he best thing to do was strip it, spray it and rebuild it... We were really proud to be part of the project and thrilled that Ed was happy with the guitar!"

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Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp