The Black Beauty, which is the prototype for all Gibson Les Paul guitars, will appear at Guernsey Auctions’ February 19 antique sale in New York.
Although the auctioneers have not published an estimate, the question is whether it will make more than the record set by Bob Dylan’s sunburst Fender Stratocaster, the guitar he first played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, which sold at auction in December 13 for $965,000.
The guitar left the Gibson factory in December 1953 and Les Paul spent two years modifying it.
Paul played it for the next 22 years and the electric sound that it created is credited as being a major influence on the development of Rock and Roll.
The sale will take place at Arader Galleries on Madison Avenue.