Bob Dylan's Newport guitar may see $500,000 at auction

The Fender Stratocaster guitar that Bob Dylan played during his infamous 1965 Newport Folk Festival appearance is finally set to sell at auction.

Dylan's performance was almost immediately met with boos from the crowd, but it is debated whether this was due to the poor sound quality or the music itself - presumably, the latter

Dylan's set at the Newport Folk Festival marked the first time he had ever publicly performed with an electric guitar and backing group. The set was divisive, with many fans feeling that he had betrayed his folk roots.

Nonetheless, it remains a crucial moment in his career and one that cemented his position at the top of the rock pantheon.

The guitar originally surfaced on the PBS show History Detectives, having spent the past 50 years in the collection of a Dawn Peterson and her family.

However, after hearing the news, Dylan claimed that he still owned the guitar, and a lawsuit ensued.

The dispute has since been settled and the guitar has been cleared for sale. The winning bidder will receive a bill of sale signed by both Peterson and Dylan.

 Maggie’s Farm – Dylan’s first electric song of the set

Played during one of Dylan's most famous concerts, the sunburst Fender could be worth up to half a million dollars.

"History Detectives felt it was worth $500,000," Peterson told Rolling Stone magazine. "I believe it's probably worth more than that. I doubt we'll sell it with any sort of reserve. The lyrics [are] also estimated to be worth at least $50,000." 

Also discovered within the guitar's case were handwritten lyrics estimated at $50,000. They include early fragments of the songs Just Like a Woman, Medicine Sunday and Temporary Like Achilles.

It is still unsure how the guitar will be sold.

"I've been talking to Wes Cowan, who appeared on History Detectives," Peterson explained to Rolling Stone.

"He owns an auction house. He's giving me some contacts, but we'll probably also call Sotheby's and Christie's to determine who is the best going forward." 

The guitar is said to have been discovered by Peterson's father, Victor Quinto, who used to be a private pilot who worked for Dylan's management.

"Dylan left the guitar on the plane. My father passed away years ago, but I've heard from his friends that he asked the management company what to do with it and he heard back, 'We can always get more from Fender.' I've also heard that he called and asked them what to do and nobody ever responded."

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic Bob Dylan-sign set list for sale.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock