Who are some of your favorite musicians? Many recognizable names, from Hendrix to McCartney to Zappa, would not have achieved their fame without a man by the name of Les Paul, according to Arlan Ettinger, the president of auction house Guernsey’s on New York’s Upper East Side.
Guernsey’s is auctioning off a prototype, known as Black Beauty, that inspired the guitars manufactured beginning in the 1950’s by Gibson Guitars with Paul’s specifications, one of which was buried with Bob Marley. The auction will take place February 19; there is no current presale estimate, but Ettinger says it could sell for over $2 million.
Black Beauty was actually the second prototype (the first was deemed unplayable by Paul himself), with a mahogany neck, ebony fret board, a Tune-O-Matic bridge and a jack for a microphone. Without Black Beauty, no other Les Paul guitars could exist in the way they are known today. Paul played more than 150 shows with this exact guitar between 1954 and 1976.
Courtesy of The New York Times