Fender USA Masterbuilt Eric Clapton Stratocaster Gold Leaf by Mark Kendrick
The original Gold Leaf guitar was built by Fender Master Builder Mark Kendrick as a custom order for Eric Clapton at the time of the 50th Anniversary of the firm in 1996 and was Clapton's main instrument of choice during the Legends period in 1997. Clapton used the guitar for the last time during his One More Car, One More Rider world tour of 2001 before selling it to Christies for US $455,000. The Fender Custom Shop reissued the Gold Leaf Stratocaster after 8 years of absence as a limited-edition run of 50 pieces. Each guitar was built to Eric's exacting specifications, with Fender's Vintage Noiseless pickups and a standard tone control instead of the Gold Lace Sensor pickups and TBX tone circuit (re-introduced in 2009) found on the original 1996 model. Most of the gold leaf strats that you will see for sale now are not built by Mark Kendrick as they are becoming increasingly rarer to find and are more desirable to collectors than the later runs. This one is from the first batch of 50.