Kurt Cobain's Legendary "MTV Unplugged" Martin D-18E is Going Up for Auction

(Image credit: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

The legendary 1959 Martin D-18E used by Kurt Cobain for Nirvana's 1993 MTV Unplugged performance is going up for auction.

Left by (opens in new tab) Cobain's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, to her ex-husband, Isaiah Silva, as part of the couple's divorce settlement, the ultra-rare guitar is being valued at over a million dollars.

The seventh of only 302 D-18Es built by Martin, the guitar is being auctioned off by Julien’s as part of its Music Icons auction, which is set to take place in Beverly Hills, CA on June 19 and June 20. 

Featuring a Bartolini pickup added by Cobain, the D-18E will be sold with its original hardshell case, complete with a half-used pack of Martin guitar strings, three picks and Cobain's suede bag, which is decorated with a miniature silver spoon, fork and knife.

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

The Martin guitar, rumored to be the last guitar Cobain ever played, can be viewed at the Hard Rock Cafe in London’s Piccadilly Circus from May 15 - May 31 and then at Julien’s Auctions Gallery in Beverly Hills from June 15 - June 19.

If the guitar indeed sells for a million, it would be the third most expensive acoustic guitar ever sold, behind only John Lennon's $2.4 million (opens in new tab) Gibson J-160E and David Gilmour's 1969 Wish You Were Here (opens in new tab) Martin D-35. 

For more info on the auction, and this guitar, stop by juliensauctions.com (opens in new tab).

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.