First Les Paul On The Auction Block, Set To Score Seven-Plus Figures

by Mat Dirjish

Anyone involved with popular music and the universe’s most popular instrument – the guitar – knows who Les Paul is and what he has given to the guitar world. Aside from being a top-notch guitarist/musician, he was an inventor who single-handedly created one of the most loved and respected guitars, The Les Paul, which is available in countless versions today.

Les Paul with the ‘Number One Les Paul’, with Mary Ford circa 1952 in Paul’s studio in Mahwah, NJ

Like many established guitar brands, like Fender, Martin, Mosrite, and Rickenbacker, to name a few, older Gibson guitar models have become collector items, mainly for their playability and timbre. Many of these instruments, which sold for a few hundred dollars when new, are commanding prices in the five to seven figure range. Such is the case with Les Paul’s “NUMBER ONE”  1952 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop guitar, which set to shatter all records as the world’s most valuable guitar.

Christie’s Auctions is offering the “NUMBER ONE” Les Paul Goldtop guitar on October 13, 2021 at its The Exceptional Sale venue, which features the very best of the best that the auction house has to offer. According to the promoters, this is the guitar that convinced Les Paul to put his name on the guitar that the world would come to know and love.

In lieu of conservative starting estimates Christie’s posts on the historic guitar, industry insiders, collectors, aficionados, and well-known musicians are expecting Les Paul’s “NUMBER ONE” to break all previous auction records. They expect the current six-million-dollar auction record for a guitar to fall hard.

Auction expert Sheila Gibson Stoodley of The Hot Bid says, “It would not surprise me at all if this dislodges the Kurt Cobain Martin guitar for the top honors as the highest selling guitar at auction at $6.2 Million. It’s Les Paul’s Les Paul! It’s more comparable to Paul Newman’s Paul Newman Rolex, which sold for $17.8 million dollars, except Paul Newman didn’t personally design the Paul Newman Rolex.”

Gene Paul, Les Paul’s son, muses, “My father spent a lifetime chasing his dream. It took almost three decades from his first experiments to finally receiving this Gibson Les Paul Goldtop in 1952. Getting this guitar officially made by Gibson was his crowning achievement. This is “THE ONE” that started it all for Dad and is probably the most historically significant, iconic, valuable, and culturally significant guitar that the world has ever seen. The very genesis of the world renowned Les Paul guitar, and the very essence of my father. In my opinion, this guitar belongs in the Smithsonian next to Neil Armstrong’s boot from the moon landing, it is a national treasure.”

For a closer look at this piece of music history, peruse the LES PAUL NUMBER ONE webpage. And, if you have some spare change that’s burning a hole in your pocket and you want to bid on THE NUMBER ONE Les Paul Goldtop, mosey on over to the Christies Exceptional Sale site and whip out your checkbook.

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