In brief

Jean-René Palacio’s guitar collection soon up for auction

Jean-René Palacio was artistic director of the Société des Bains de Mer when he died in 2021. © Monte-Carlo SBM

On December 6, Artenchères invites enthusiasts to Lyon and online for an auction of superb instruments once owned by the former artistic director of the Société des Bains de Mer. 


His name is closely connected with the love and influence of jazz. Jean-René Palacio, who was universally recognised and admired by the music and arts community, was the organiser of emblematic festivals in Juan-les-Pins, Monaco and Megève. During his career as artistic director, he worked with the greats, including Johnny Hallyday, Diana Ross, Mariah Carey and Lady Gaga…

© Monte-Carlo SBM

Following his death in 2021, his wife Marie and close friends chose Artenchères to auction off his collection of over 70 guitars. His friends and artists signed some of them, usually at concerts he had organised: Marcus Miller, Johnny Winter, but also guitarists Jeff Beck and Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits).

AIRLINE JB (Joseph Benjamin) Hutto Red/USA. 1965. Estimated between €1,500 and €2,000.© Artenchères
GIBSON =Les Paul Custom Black/USA. 1971. Estimate between €5,000 and €7,000. © Artenchères

Tributes flooded in when he passed away. “He was a jazz lover. He strove to keep the genre alive,” the trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf told France 3 Côte d’Azur. On his Twitter feed, the drummer Manu Katché also shared, “Elegance, musical passion, humour, simplicity and kindness were the hallmarks of this extraordinary man.” Not forgetting the American bass player Marcus Miller: “Jean-René gave me incredible and unfailing support as an artist. He’s without a doubt one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.”

FENDER Esquire NOHC « Early » 1959. Blonde/Nitro. Estimated between €15,000 and €20,000. ©Artenchères

Patrick Tanzilli, the expert for the upcoming sale, shares his enthusiasm about one of the guitars that is expected to attract lot of interest, a 1959 Fender. “This Esquire is particularly sought-after by enthusiasts, because it is so rare. It was made during the first decade in the career of Léo Fender, the make’s founder and creator.”

Taken as a whole, the collection is a potted history of rock as seen through the musical tastes of this great enthusiast. The collection began in the 1950s, “when rock music was taking off with rockabilly, the French ‘yéyé’ movement and the twist. These period models take us straight back to the excitement of the time,” says Patrick Tanzilli.