1949 Bigsby Solid Body guitar up 661.4% on estimate
A 1949 Bigsby Solid Body electric guitar realised $266,500 after an intense bidding war in Dallas
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Thursday 3 May 2012
An auction of musical instruments saw an intense bidding war over a 1949 Bigsby Solid Body electric guitar, which eventually sold for $266,500 to "wide applause" from the auction room.
The lot was the just fourth guitar ever made by the famous shop and neither bidder seemed prepare to let the opportunity slip through their fingers.
The founder of the company, Paul A Bigsy, pioneered the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, the first design of what is now known as a tremolo arm or whammy bar, enabling musicians to bend the pitch of notes. This historic invention changed the face of music and ensured strong interest in the item from bidders.
"The room was packed, the crowd was jazzed," said the auction house's Mike Gutierrez. "The auction of this amazing Bigsby was one of the most exciting moments I've ever experienced at an auction."
The bidding war ensured the guitar shot past its estimate of $25,000-35,000, achieving a 661.4% increase.
The Bigsby lot was followed by a 1955 Fender Stratocaster Sunburst which sold for $46,875. The Stratocaster has set the standard for modern electric guitars since its creation, with signature models owned by some of the best-loved players in the business.
The Stratocaster made a 160% increase on estimate, displaying the strength of the market for Fender guitars. Mike Gutierrez commented: "Owners of these early Strats would do very well to take a long look at their guitars right now and consider the current market."
Readers looking to gain the most from their own collection will want to view Paul Fraser Collectibles' free investment advice here.
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Images: Heritage Auctions