A completely original 1959 Gibson Les Paul “Black Beauty” guitar, serial #91786, one of the most sought-after guitars on the planet, is the highlight of the fine vintage guitar collection being sold by Heritage Auction Galleries Beverly Hills as part of the company’s July 17 Signature® Music & Entertainment Memorabilia Auction. The guitar is expected to bring $47,000+.
“This gorgeous assortment of guitars is an exciting first for our department,” said Doug Norwine, Director of the Music and Entertainment Department at Heritage. “Vintage instruments, especially at this level of rarity and quality, are never offered at this volume. Without a doubt the 1959 Gibson Les Paul is the shining star of the show.”
The Gibson, affectionately called “The Black Beauty,” retains its original finish with the original PAF humbucker pickups. The body sports moderate nick and scratch wear, and even has belt buckle wear on the back, suggesting stand-up stage use, though it’s not currently known who may have played this guitar.
After the introduction of the Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar in 1952, Les Paul himself requested the instrument be offered in black for a more luxurious, elegant look. Paul noted that he wanted it to “look like a tuxedo.”
“The simple, yet sleek feel of the Black Beauty has never fallen out of popularity with musicians, collectors or fans,” said Norwine. “The quality and classic style of this instrument makes it easy to see why any guitar enthusiast, from weekend pickers to session players, to rock gods, would be proud to hold this work of art.”
The 1959 Black Beauty isn’t the only Les Paul black guitar in the auction. In fact, the collection boasts two additional, later, versions – both all-original. The first is a 1961 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black #1-0864 , while the next is a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black #78531 . The 1961 is estimated at $45,000+, while the 1957 is currently estimated at $47,000+.
Rounding off this stellar collection of near-mythic guitars are vintage Fender Stratocasters, Fender Telecasters, and Fender Jazzmasters , Martin acoustic guitars , Gretsch Guitars and Rickenbacker Bass & 345 model guitars .
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