A Rare, Jimi Hendrix-Played, Early '60s-Era Japanese Sunburst Guitar is Headed to Auction Once Again

Jimi Hendrix performs onstage in 1967 (left), a Japanese sunburst guitar Hendrix used early in his career
(Image credit: Mick Gold/Redferns, Kruse GWS Auctions)

Back in 2020, a non-branded, early '60s-era Japanese sunburst electric guitar that was once played by Jimi Hendrix went up for auction.

Now, the storied guitar – which doesn't come with strings – has gone up for sale, via GWS Auctions, once again. 

According to GWS, the guitar was acquired by Hendrix shortly after he returned home from the army in 1962, and was used by the guitarist during his time in Tennessee, where he played with the likes of Wilson Pickett, Slim Harpo, Sam Cooke, and Jackie Wilson.

He also reportedly took the guitar with him when he moved to New York City in 1964, and used it often for his performances at venues such as Cafe Wha? and the Cheetah club.

When Hendrix moved to London in late 1966, he is said to have left the guitar in New York, at the apartment of one of his best friends, Mike Quashie.

The guitar will be sold with a signed and notarized letter of provenance from Quashie, in addition to a statement from the collector who the seller acquired it from, who reportedly spoke with Quashie before he passed away. 

The guitar will also be sold with its original case, and a third letter of provenance stating that the guitar was given to Hendrix by his father.

Live bidding for the Hendrix-played 'early '60s-era Japanese sunburst model begins Saturday, October 15, with a minimum bid of $50,000.

It's not the only Hendrix-affiliated guitar to hit the auction block in recent weeks. A 1969 Olympic white Fender Stratocaster the guitar hero used in the latter part of his career went up for sale via Gotta Have Rock and Roll just last month.

For more photos of the guitar, and info on its sale, stop by gwsauctions.com.

Jackson Maxwell
Associate Editor, GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.