Kurt Cobain’s guitar is the most expensive ever sold at auction
The previous record was $3.95 million for a Black Stratocaster owned by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.June 22, 2020
Back in May, it was announced that Kurt Cobain‘s MTV Unplugged acoustic guitar was going up for sale. On June 19, the auction for the Nirvana frontman’s iconic guitar began and shortly after the auction launched, the guitar reached $1 million with four bids.
Now, we know just how much the MTV Unplugged guitar has sold for.
The 1959 Martin D-18E guitar came with the original hard-shell case that Cobain decorated with a flyer for Poison Idea‘s 1990 album Feel The Darkness, two Alaska Airlines fragile stickers and three baggage claim ticket stubs. The case compartment also included three Dunlop guitar picks, a partial set of Martin & Co. guitar strings and a black velvet pouch containing knife, fork and spoon lapel pins.
After seven total bids, the guitar, as well as its accessories, sold for a record-breaking $6 million, making it the most expensive guitar ever sold at auction. The previous record was $3.95 million for a Black Stratocaster owned by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.
The new lucky owner of the iconic guitar is Peter Freedman, an Australian music entrepreneur. In a statement, he states that he was “scared shitless and shaking” when the auction came to an end and he secured the guitar for the equivalent of $9 million Australian dollars.
Freedman doesn’t plan to use the guitar for himself. Instead, he is going to tour it around for others to see and use the proceeds to help struggling artists. Then, he will eventually resell it to another owner.
“It’s a big deal,” he says. “I didn’t even buy it for me. I paid for it but I’m going to use it to highlight the plight of artists worldwide by touring it around. Then I’m going to sell it and use the dough for that as well, later.”
Along with this, Freedman also admits that he would’ve kept increasing his bids even if it meant going up a few million more to secure the famous guitar.
Along with the guitar, the silver lamé shirt Cobain wore in the “Heart-Shaped Box” video sold for $25,000 at auction. As well, a handwritten lyrics sheet from the MTV Unplugged performance sold for $5,760 after two bids. The original MTV Unplugged setlist sold for $10,240 after just one bid.
All of the Nirvana items sold at auction are available to view here.
The guitar was recently at the center of a legal battle against Cobain’s daughter Frances and her ex-husband Isaiah Silva. Silva sued several people who he believed broke into his home to both steal the guitar and attempt to kill him. Courtney Love, Love’s manager Sam Lutfi and actor Ross Butler (Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why) were just a few of the many individuals accused of conspiring against Silva. Court documents revealed that after a long battle, Silva won the settlement along with the historic guitar. Now, the guitar Love has called a “treasured heirloom of the family” has been sold.
Last year, the cardigan Cobain wore during the MTV Unplugged performance also went to auction at Julien’s Auctions. It made history as one of the most expensive sweaters ever sold at a record-breaking $334,000.
Do you think the MTV Unplugged guitar is worth $6 million? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.