An early 1960s Japanese sunburst electric guitar, that once belonged to the mighty Jimi Hendrix, has sold for an eye-watering amount at an auction.
The guitar, that was played by Hendrix when he cut his teeth as an R&B guitarist following his stint in the army, sold at auction Saturday for $216,000, a near four times its pre-auction estimate.
“This early 1960s Japanese sunburst electric guitar was played by the legendary guitarist and rock n’ roll musician, Jimi Hendrix,” a description for the guitar reads on GWS Auctions’ website. “According to our research, this guitar was used by Jimi shortly after he returned home from the U.S. Army in 1962. After leaving Fort Campbell Jimi moved to Clarksville, Tennessee for a short time where he played on the Chitlin’ Circuit with the likes of Wilson Pickett, Slim Harpo, Sam Cooke, Ike and Tina Turner and Jackie Wilson before moving to Harlem, New York in early 1964 where he stayed until late 1966 playing venues such as Cafe Wha and the Cheetah Club.”
Hendrix played the guitar throughout his stint with the Isley Brothers and Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. He subsequently left the axe in New York with his friend Mike Wuashie when he left for the U.K. to kick start Experience.
“This particular guitar sheds light on some of the earliest playing by Jimi Hendrix and is unprecedented as it relates to its historical value. Never before have we acquired a guitar of this magnitude partnered with particularly thorough provenance and value,” Dame Brigitte Kruse of GWS Auctions shared in a statement.
The unnamed auction winner will also receive “the original signed, notarized letter of provenance from Quashie, along with a statement from the collector who our client acquired it from who spoke with Mike Quashie before he passed.”
Last month, Peter Freeman, the Australian CEO of RØDE Microphones, purchased the iconic guitar played by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana’s 1993 MTV Unplugged performance.
Freeman scored the guitar for US$6.01 million, which translates to almost $9 million Australian dollars, setting the world record for the most expensive guitar sold.