Good vibrations... Les Paul electric guitar could bring $100,000

A stunning 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard Cherry Sunburst Electric Guitar is expected to bring $100,000+ when it comes up for auctions as part of the Fine and Vintage Guitar and Stringed Instruments section of Heritage Auctions' Signature Music & Entertainment Auction, February 18-20.

"Whenever one of these early Les Paul Standards shows up it's going to be a big deal," said Mike Gutierrez, Consignment Director at Heritage. "Gibson only made about 1,700 of these guitars over a three-year period, so, subsequently, they have become highly sought-after by both players and collectors."

 While not expected to enter the same price realm, a 1961 Rickenbacker 4001 Fireglo Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar, #AK685, a bass that can be traced back to the first month of the first year of production for 4001s, is easily the top bass guitar offering in the auction. It is estimated at $2,000+ and should make an excellent investment.

Rickenbacker 4001s have been played by some of the greatest bassists to ever pick up a four string," said Gutierrez. "Names like Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, Roger Waters and John Entwistle all played 4001s. Combine the overall popularity of the model with the unbelievable provenance - this may well be the very first one produced - and you have the makings of a great auction."

Les Paul guitar
Les Paul guitar (est. $100,000)

The auction goes deep in fine acoustic models, with few names more highly prized than that of C.F. Martin & Company of Nazareth, PA. A 1937 Martin D-18 Sunburst Acoustic Guitar, #68135 presents a very appealing opportunity to the discerning player and collector, estimated at $12,000+, in good condition despite its almost 75 years of existence.

A 1931 Martin OM-28 Natural Acoustic Guitar, #47403, a rare Martin Orchestra model, unrestored and never repaired, estimated at $12,000+, gives bidders another chance at a choice early-20th century example from the hallowed guitar maker.

 Rickenbacker is represented in the six-string category with a gorgeous 1959 375 Capri Autumnglo/Brown Sunburst Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar, #3V254, an all-original guitar with good neck set and pots dating to the 10th week of 1959. It is estimated at $2,000+.

 A 1959 Fender Telecaster Blonde Solid Body Electric Guitar, #38272 (estimate: $3,000+) and a 1959 Fender Esquire Blonde Solid Body Electric Guitar, #37160 (Estimate: $3,500+) represent the top Fender electric offerings in the Beverly Hills auction, with both of these very playable guitars presenting attractive opportunities to the right collectors.

 While the 1960 Les Paul Standard Sunburst is the top offering in the instrument section of the auction, several more prime Gibson guitars will have erudite collectors taking notice, especially a beautiful 1965 Gibson Firebird Cherry Red Electric Guitar, #503927, with a special provenance, estimated at $1,800+.

 "If you're old enough to have been around the Southern California music scene back in the mid-to-late 1960s, you might have been lucky enough to catch The Traveling Band," said Jonas Aronson, Director of Vintage Guitars at Heritage.

"The group was comprised of six brothers and sisters. One of the brothers played this very Gibson Firebird while one of his sisters played a matching Thunderbird bass, also in this auction."

Collectors interested in classic music memorabilia may wish to take a look at this guitar strap, believed to be the one worn by Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock.


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