Jimi Hendrix's Japanese Guitar Breaks the Bank at Auction

Mahlik Campbell

music /

A Japanese Sunburst Electric Guitar that Jimi Hendrix played as a rising musician in the early 1960s sold for $216,000 at a recent auction, going for almost four times the expected price.

That buyer must be rich rich!

Via GWS Auctions

Per GWS Auctions, Jimi wielded this rock and roll artifact upon being discharged from the U.S. Army in 1962, joining the Chitlin’ Circuit in Tennessee alongside Sam Cooke, Ike and Tina Turner, and others. Then, he moved to Harlem, NY, "where he stayed until late 1966 playing venues such as Cafe Wha and the Cheetah Club."

The "well-loved guitar" was left at his friend Mike Quashie's apartment when Hendrix went to London to form his breakout band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Quashie's later developed a notarized letter of provenance before his own passing.

"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 said in a statement.

Via GWS Auctions
Via GWS Auctions

Other legendary items that sold at the Artifacts of Hollywood & Music auction: a 14k gold ring owned by Elvis Presley ($22,500) and some of Prince’s customized purple boots ($13,000). Need a hip-hop event like this, though!