A Fender Stratocaster guitar owned by singer Eric Clapton has sold for a record $959,500 at Christie's in New York.

The guitar, which Clapton had named 'Blackie', was expected to fetch in the region of $150,000 but the price rose sharply after a bidding war at the auction.

The Fender Stratocaster, which Clapton had owned since 1973 and used in recording the hits 'Cocaine' and 'Wonderful Tonight', was eventually bought by Guitar Center, a US music chain store.

The auction was held to raise money for Crossroads Centre in Antigua, an addiction treatment centre founded by Clapton in 1998.

Speaking after the record sale Clapton said, "I am thrilled at the result which is going to be of enormous help to us in achieving our long term aims at the Centre."