At the recent Dallas Guitar Show, a large assembly of jazzed-up aficionados and guitar collectors held breathless for some minutes, as they witnessed two of the enthusiastic bidders going bid-to-bid over an amazing 1949 Bigsby Birdseye Maple Solid Body Electric guitar. The winner triumphed to wide applause as he won the fantastic piece of musical history for staggering $266,500. Described to be only the fourth one ever made by iconic Paul Bigsby, a famed luthier widely known for creating the first ever successful electric guitar ‘whammy bar’, the guitar is said to be the most expensive vintage guitar ever sold by Heritage Auctions’ as part of its Vintage Guitars and Musical Instruments Signature Auction.
As said by Mike Gutierrez, the Consignment Director at Heritage Auction, “The auction of this stunning Bigsby was one of the most exciting moment’s I’ve ever experienced at an auction. The room was packed, the crowd was jazzed and the guitar brought double what Heritage has ever sold any guitar for.”
Created on May 16, 1949, the Bigsby Birdseye Maple Solid Body Electric guitar has some arm wear to body finish and moderate fret wear to what appear to be original frets. An original case made by Bigsby himself also includes with the guitar, and is in fine condition showing light wear, both structurally as well as cosmetically. Also Included with this lot, comes a letter from Bigsby expert Deke Dickerson titled “Assessment of Bigsby Guitar #51649”.
With 409 lots total on sale, the auction overall realized a total of $1.5+ million. Other highlight’s of the auction includes a beautiful 1955 Fender Stratocaster Sunburst Solid Body Electric guitar that fetched a price of $46,875, more than twice its pre-sale estimate of $18,000. Whereas, the collectors also paid hefty prices for the Gibson guitars, as a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Standard Gold Top Solid Body Electric Guitar realized a price of $45,313 and a Gibson Sunburst Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar fetched $31,250.