A selection of property from the estate of the late Les Paul will auction in Beverly Hills on June 8-9, in honour of what would have been Paul's 97th birthday (June 9). The auction will feature a selection of guitars, musical equipment, personal items and other items of memorabilia from the musician and inventor.
Paul created one of the first solid-body electric guitars and the Gibson Les Paul is now one of the most popular and recognised guitars in the world.
Paul's inventions and musical achievements resulted in him being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005, the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1979. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame titled Paul the "Architect of Rock 'n' Roll".
This collection has been partly curated by the Burst Brothers (Dave Belzer and Drew Berlin) who are considered to be two of the world's top authorities on vintage guitars.
The highlight of the sale is expected to be a 1968 prototype Gibson Les Paul custom recording model which is expected to bring $60,000-$80,000. The white flat top with Bigsby tail piece is accompanied by a note in Les Paul's hand which reads: "Reward this is the property of Les Paul A.K.A. Lester William Polfuss…Mahwah, New Jersey, USA".
Other highlights will include a 1951 Fender Nocaster - was a gift to Paul from Leo Fender - which is expected to sell for $40,000-60,000 and a Gibson L-5 Sunburt Cremona purchased by Paul in 1933 which could bring $15,000.
The vintage guitar market is extremely buoyant, with guitars owned by notable individuals proving to be especially popular. A 1961 Gibson SG Les Paul Custom guitar which once belonged to Paul's ex-wife Mary Ford was sold for $110,000 earlier this year.
Those interested in investing in guitars should take a look at this electric guitar signed by The Rolling Stones, and a guitar signed by U2, both of which are currently available for purchase from Paul Fraser Collectibles.