A rare Jimi Hendrix-played Japanese sunburst electric has hit the auction block

(Image credit: David Redfern/Redferns / Kruse GWS Auctions)

We’ve seen some great guitar auctions lately, but it always gives us pause when an actual Jimi Hendrix-owned electric hits the market.

With that said, feast your eyes on this early 1960s Japanese sunburst electric guitar model, which, according to Jimi’s brother, Leon Hendrix, was played by the legend in the early to mid ‘60s.

The double-cut electric, which does not have a brand name on the headstock, is currently being offered for sale by GWS Auctions, which states that Jimi began playing the instrument “shortly after he returned home from the U.S. Army in 1962.

(Image credit: Kruse GWS Auctions)

"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 is in “well-loved condition,” and is offered without strings. It comes with a letter of provenance from Leon Hendrix along with a copy of the above video interview, among other items.

Leon Hendrix is also willing to have a private lunch with the winning bidder, at the bidder's expense.

The guitar has a starting bid of $50,000. For more information, head to GWS Auctions.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.