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Jimi Hendrix-Played Japanese Sunburst Guitar Sold for $216,000

A rare, brand-less guitar once played by Jimi Hendrix.
(Image credit: Kruse GWS Auctions)

A rare, non-branded early 1960s Japanese sunburst electric guitar once played by Jimi Hendrix has sold at auction for $216,000.

The guitar - according the late guitar legend's brother, Leon Hendrix - was played by Hendrix in the early to mid ‘60s. It was sold by GWS Auctions for over four times its starting bid price of $50,000.

Hendrix is said to have begun playing the instrument “shortly after he returned home from the U.S. Army in 1962.

"After leaving Fort Campbell, Jimi moved to Clarksville, Tennessee for a short time where he played on the Chitlin' Circuit with the likes of Wilson Pickett, Slim Harpo, Sam Cooke, Ike and Tina Turner and Jackie Wilson before moving to Harlem, New York in early 1964 where he stayed until late 1966 playing venues such as Cafe Wha? and the Cheetah Club.

“Jimi moved to London in late 1966 and left this guitar in New York at the apartment of one of his best friends, where Leon [Hendrix] recalled seeing it many years later.”

The guitar - which came without strings - was offered with a letter of provenance from Leon Hendrix. 

For more info on the guitar, stop by gwsauctions.com (opens in new tab).

Jackson Maxwell
Jackson Maxwell

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.