Kurt Cobain smashed guitar to make $143,000?

A guitar smashed by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana's final tour is coming to auction.

Cobain wielded the black and white Fender Stratocaster at a February 16, 1994 concert in Rennes, France - he committed suicide just two months later.

Still playable despite its beating

It is one of five Stratocasters Fender sent to Cobain especially for smashing purposes at the end of concerts; he used the more expensive Fender Mustangs for making music.

One was never used, two were smashed beyond help, while the remaining two (including the example at auction) were smashed but repaired and are fully playable.

The guitar has a minimum bid of £34,000 ($48,700) and a high estimate of £100,000 ($143,250) at the CooperOwen online auction. The sale ends on May 20.

In a letter of authenticity, the anonymous consignor explains Cobain "gave me [the guitar] at the end of the 16th February 1994 show at Palais Omnisport, Rennes", although the precise details are lacking - a fact that may temper bids.

We regard high-end Nirvana memorabilia as among the finest music memorabilia investments available today. The reason? Demographics. The teenagers who were fans of the band in the early 90s are now wage-earning adults in their 30s, ensuring that competition for leading Nirvana items is fierce.

A Fender Mustang smashed by Cobain on the band's first US tour auctioned for $100,000 in 2008.

The record for a Cobain guitar is $131,000 - achieved by his Mosrite Gospel Mark IV in 2006, one of only two examples of the guitar.

In the market for some top grade music memorabilia? Take a look at Paul Fraser Collectibles' stock.

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