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Les Paul Estate Auction Raises Nearly $5 Million

Les Paul
Amy Sussman, Getty Images

Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills recently held the estate auction of guitarist and innovator Les Paul. The two-day auction brought in nearly $5 million for the Les Paul Foundation, a charity founded by the legend to support music education, engineering, innovation and medical research.

Although most closely associated with the Gibson guitar that bears his name, Paul also had a 1940s Epiphone Zephyr (known as “Klunker #3″), which sold for $144,000 and a 1951 Fender “NoCaster” (the predecessor of the Telecaster), which brought in $180,000. A 1927 sunburst Gibson L5 went for $87,500.

The auction was not limited to his guitar collection. Among the other items that sold were his touring rig ($81,250), a recording console ($106,250) and various technical and research notes. The sign at New York’s Iridium nightclub, where he played on Monday nights from the mid-1990s until his death, raised $40,625.

Paul, who invented both the solid-body electric guitar and multitrack recording, died in 2009 at the age of 94. The second day of the auction took place on what would have been his 97th birthday. Back in January, one of his guitars was featured on the History Channel show ‘Pawn Stars.’

Watch the Selling of Les Paul’s 1951 Fender “NoCaster”

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