A Fender guitar stood out among a vast selection of music memorabilia from the estate of legendary musician Les Paul on June 8-9.
The Beverly Hills sale was held to commemorate what would have been the guitarist's 97th birthday, following his death in 2009. The auction featured an array of personal memorabilia from a career which spanned 80 years, with Paul's own iconic guitar models and equipment selling with excellent results.
A 1951 Fender No-Caster provided a surprise top lot in the auction, having come from the main rivals to Paul's favoured brand, Gibson. The No-Caster, an adaptation of the perennially popular Telecaster, was signed by Paul on the headstock and featured some of his own modifications. It sold for $216,000, 260% above its high estimate of $60,000.
In 1952, Paul co-designed and endorsed one of the first commercially successful solid-body electric guitars, known as the Gibson Les Paul. It has since become a must-have item for both professional and amateur guitarists. The auction's second highest bids were brought by the first Gibson Les Paul recording model ever made, in a more fitting tribute to Paul's legendary creation.
The 1982 prototype, which bore the serial number 001, had been customised to accommodate a "Paulverizer", one of the many effects modules which Paul invented over the course of his career. The ground-breaking guitar sold for $180,000, against an estimate of $20,000-30,000 while. An early version of the Paulverizer sold for $8,750 later in the auction.
Elsewhere, a complete late 1960s recording console, on which Paul created some of his world-renowned sounds, sold for $106,250 against an estimate of $40,000-60,000. Bidders looking to re-create Les Paul's unique studio effects ensured an impressive 77.5% increase on estimate for the item.
Music memorabilia can provide a brilliant investment for collectors, with the added benefit of the joy of ownership that comes with possessing items from our favourite musicians. Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic Reversokaster electric guitar on offer, which has been signed by all members of the Rolling Stones.
See our full selection of music memorabilia here.