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Smashed Kurt Cobain guitar sells at auction for over ten times its estimate

By | Published on Tuesday 23 May 2023

Kurt Cobain smashed guitar

A guitar smashed by Kurt Cobain has sold at auction for almost $600,000 – around ten times the original estimated price.

The black Fender Stratocaster was used by Cobain during touring for Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ album and shows signs of having been broken and repaired a number of times. Eventually it was gifted to Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan in late 1992, with inscriptions from each band member written to him on the body of the guitar.

While the electronics in the guitar still work – making it technically playable – part of the neck and half of the headstock is missing, leaving it less than fully functional.

Originally it was estimated that the guitar would sell at auction in New York for $60,000 – $80,000. Following 31 bids, it eventually reached $596,900 (just over £480,000).

Last year the same auction house, Julien’s Auctions, sold the guitar Cobain used in the video for ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, which similarly sold for well over its estimate – raising over $4.6 million.