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Alex Lifeson’s treasured Gibson ES-355 sells at auction for $384,000

Alex Lifeson – pictured backstage with his beloved Gibson ES-355 in 1977
(Image credit: Fin Costello/Redferns)

Alex Lifeson’s legendary Gibson “Whitey” ES-355 has been sold for over $300,000, after the Rush icon put a number of his most beloved electric and acoustic guitars up for auction.

The sale – which was hosted by Julien’s Auctions – took place today (May 20), with Lifeson’s treasured semi-hollow electric guitar selling (opens in new tab) for a cool $384,000 after receiving 13 bids. It was one of the stand-out six-strings on the auction list, having played an integral part in the guitar legend’s decades-spanning career with Rush.

It had made its way onto the majority of Rush's studio albums, and was used live on countless occasions. The tremolo-equipped ES model also exceeded its original $300,000 sale estimation by a considerable margin.

Alex Lifeson

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Owing to his connection with the white-finished guitar, Lifeson recently described to Guitar Magazine (opens in new tab) the emotional farewell he had with it, recalling, “I sat there with that case in between my legs and, maybe it sounds a little corny, but I was talking to it.

“I was reminiscing about gigs that we did together,” he continued, “and kissing the bubble wrap.”

The Property from the Archives of Alex Lifeson auction also included a number of other high-profile sales. Joining the ES-355 was Lifeson’s 1976 Gibson Dove acoustic, which sold (opens in new tab) for $128,000.

Lifeson’s Dove was an equally important guitar in his arsenal, and was used to pen multiple songs from Rush’s 1977 record A Farewell to Kings, including the classic hit, Closer to the Heart

Alex Lifeson's 1976 Gibson Dove

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Elsewhere, in a hard-fought auction battle, a stage-played Gibson EDS-1275 smashed its $40,000 estimation and sold (opens in new tab) for $89,600 after being the subject of 20 bids, while a 1991 PRS CE 24 – which was one Lifeson’s main touring guitars in the 1990s – sold (opens in new tab) for an eye-watering $112,500.

Another six-figure six-string was Lifeson's custom-built Hentor Sportscaster, which was snapped (opens in new tab) up for $187,500.

For more info on all of Lifeson's guitars that were sold, visit Julien’s Auctions (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.