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Jimi Hendrix's Japanese sunburst guitar fetches over £160,000 at auction

10 August 2020, 10:02 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

A '60's Japanese sunburst guitar that Jimi Hendrix played before he was famous has sold for more than £160,000 at auction.

Jimi Hendrix played with the sunburst electric guitar after he was discharged from the US Army in 1962, and left it with a friend in New York when he moved to London in 1966.

As NME reports, the guitar was first estimated to sell for $50k (£38k), and was bought for a winning bid of $180k (£138k) on Saturday (8 August). The total price was £216k (£165k) with the auction fees added on.

The sale was run by GWS Auctions. The description reads, "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's sunburst guitar was sold in its original state with no strings, and includes a signed, notarised letter of provenance from Hendrix's friend Mike Quashie, who kept the guitar after Hendrix left New York to go to London.

Jimi Hendrix's sunburst guitar can be viewed at Back in June, Kurt Cobain's MTV Unplugged guitar sold for a record-breaking price of $6million.
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