Bob Dylan’s legendary Fender Stratocaster, played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival sold for $965,000 at Christie’s (nearly double its high pre-sale estimate). The controversial sunburst instrument went for the highest price ever paid for a guitar at auction. The previous auction record for a guitar was for Eric Clapton’s Fender Stratocaster, which fetched $959,500 in 2004.
The guitar had been in the possession of a New Jersey family for 48 years after Dilan left it on a plane. The pilot’s daughter Dawn Peterson of Morris County, N.J., had it authenticated on the PBS show “History Detectives”.
“After one flight, my father saw there were three guitars left on the plane,”she said. “He contacted the company a few times about picking the guitars up, but nobody ever got back to him.”
Beside guitar, Christie’s also offered on sale five song lyrics found inside the guitar case – early versions of some of Dylan’s songs. Only one of the five lyrics sheets sold for $20,000, bringing the auction total to $985,000. That was a handwritten and typed version of 1965’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover.”