Hank Williams' $134.5k guitar headlines Country sale

The first ever Christie's Country Music sale last week (December 3) saw three legends top its bill: Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings and Luther Perkins.

Williams' CF Martin and company Style D-18 guitar, built in 1974, left the auction block just shy of its upper estimate, selling for $134,500.

In second place came Waylon Jennings' Fender solid body electric guitar from 1950, bringing $98,500.

Last in the top three was Luther Perkins. Again, collectors were drawn to a vintage Fender guitar, this time a sold-body electric built in 1955. It brought $74,500.

Each of the lots sold within their estimates. However, their values look meagre compared to the extraordinary amounts that guitars with established rock 'n' roll provenance can sell for.

Country Music is part of America's heritage, but can it pull in the bidders
like rock 'n' roll?

In 2007, a 1975 cream coloured Travis Bean guitar played by the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia netted a dazzling $312,000.

Meanwhile, Jimi Hendrix's studio guitar and a classic Gibson SG played by George Harrison and John Lennon are ranked among the Top Celebrity Collectibles.

Hendrix's 1966 red Fender Mustang, used by the left-handed guitar legend to record his studio albums, sold for $480,000 at the Icons of Music sale held by Julien's auctions in 2007.

And the classic Gibson played by Harrison on the Beatles' Revolver album, and by Lennon on the White Album, was sold to an anonymous bidder at Christie's for $567,500.

However, the differences in value can perhaps be attributed to Country's status as a niche music genre; less popular than the rock 'n' roll pioneered by Hendrix and the Beatles.



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