Bid on Les Paul's Guitars and more at Auction

Julien's Auctions will host a special bidding for historic Les Paul guitars, effects and other items on the upcoming "Property from the Estate of Les Paul" auction.

Property from the Estate of Les Paul

This bidding will be of special interest to Les Paul fans and guitar collectors - the highest bidders will take home iconic guitar prototypes and rare models.

The auction is set to happen on June 8-9, 2012, with the last day of auction falling on what would have been Les Paul's 97th birthday.

Les Polfuss who was later known as Les Paul needs no further introduction - for a quick summary he was born in 1915 and grew up to be a great musician and inventor - making great music while at the same time revolutionizing the guitar. Even modern day sound recording benefited from Les Paul's works - he pioneered sound-on-sound recording and he commissioned the first 8-track tape recorder which is the core technology behind multi-track recording and is still being used up to this day.

1951 Fender Nocaster
1951 Fender Nocaster
1927 Gibson L-5 Sunburst Cremona
1927 Gibson L-5 Sunburst Cremona

The Property from the Estate of Les Paul auction will feature memorabilia, equipment, personal effects and instruments that span his entire career from his days as Rhubarb Red to his weekly Monday night shows at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. Dave Belzer and Drew Berlin, two authorities in vintage guitars helped curate the collection of Les Paul. Their extensive knowledge and interest on everything Les Paul helped in building the vintage guitar collection for this Les Paul Estate auction.

Auction highlights:

  • 1927 Gibson L-5 Sunburst Cremona serial number 87230 - This is one of his two L-5s purchased at Gibson in Kalamazoo Michigan in 1933. Paul discusses the trip and purchasing this guitar extensively in his autobiography. He later gave this guitar to a friend Dave Moran, who requested the guitar be returned to Paul upon his death. There is a hole drilled through the original pickguard, the back was re-finished, and it does not come with its original case. Estimated auction price: $10,000 to $15,000. UPDATE: Sold for $87,500

  • 1951 Fender Nocaster serial number 1751 - This is a personal gift from Leo Fender who even signed the back of the headstock "Leo Fender". The guitar is butterscotch with black pickguard, neck date “5-10-51 T.G.”, no body date, with original thermometer case. It is uncharacteristically light weighing only 7.4 pounds. Estimated auction price: $40,000 to $60,000. UPDATE: Sold for $216,000

  • 1968 Prototype Gibson Les Paul Custom Recording Model - White flat top with Bigsby tail piece and note in Paul’s hand reading, “Reward this is the property of Les Paul A.K.A. Lester William Polfuss…Mahwah, New Jersey USA…” The is the same guitar featured on page 350 of his autobiography Les Paul In His Own Words. Estimated auction price: $60,000 to $80,000. UPDATE: Sold for $68,750

    1952 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
    1952 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
  • 1952 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop - This is one of the very first Les Paul guitar produced with the back of its headstock hand signed "Les Paul". It has no serial number, has a trapeze tailpiece and the tuners have been changed to Grover's. It comes with a patent pending original case. Estimated auction price: $14,000 to $16,000. UPDATE: Sold for $62,500

    Boss BCB-6 Pedal Effects In Case
    Boss BCB-6 Pedal Effects In Case
  • Boss BCB-6 Pedal Effects In Case - Get a chance to step on the pedals that Les Paul used during his weekly shows at Fat Tuesdays and the Iridium Jazz Club. It comes with 6 boss pedals including chromatic tuner TU-2 white, super chorus ch-1 blue, digital delay DD3 silver and digital reverb/delay RV3 grey. As an added bonus, the case comes with some tools, a pair of Les Paul’s sunglasses and have all of his settings recorded on masking tape. Estimated auction price: $3,000 to $5,000. UPDATE: Sold for $17,500

    Les Paul’s Touring Rig
    Les Paul’s Touring Rig
  • Les Paul’s Touring Rig - At the core of LP's rig is a Gibson LP1 guitar amplifier pre-amp controller with serial number 1038. It is a prototype designed by Les Paul featuring Plexiglass panel on front with “Les Paul” two channel amplifier with a normal and box switch, crossover switch, vibrola switch. There are Les Paul’s markings in red nail polish which indicates his settings on the knobs and Plexiglass panel. There are other tape markings that reads Les Paul Road 1 and #1 pre-amp among others. A single fifteen Altec Lansing speaker with high frequency horn, power amp and Paulverizer attachment is built into the cabinet. The rig is topped with a Nakimichi 700, three head cassette player which Paul used to play along with pre-recorded tracks. This item is sold together with a spare Nakamichi 700 and identical Altec Lansing single fifteen cabinet. Estimated auction price: $5,000 to $7,000. UPDATE: Sold for $81,250

Other interesting items that audiophiles will fancy - a 1955 Steinway & Sons Grand Model B in Ebony, an early '70s ampex MM100 sixteen track recording machine and a late '60s API Recording Mixing Console.

The bidding will happen in Beverly Hills, California. For more information, you can visit Julien's Auctions.

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