Guitar devotees, prepare to drool. The original Black Beauty, the first model owned by the mighty guitar pioneer Les Paul himself, will be up for auction in New York on February 19.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the instrument will be sold by auction house Guernsey’s at Arader Galleries next month. Paul, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 94, owned the beautiful all-black, solid body, gold-detailed guitar for more than 20 years, from 1954 until 1976.
Ownership of it then passed to Tom Doyle, who is auctioning it from his private collection — and that’s not the only gem from it that will go under the hammer, as Doyle is also putting up his original of Chet Atkins’ electric Gretsch, known as Dark Eyes.
As we reported in June, the Les Paul guitar line was first conceived as both the regular model, fondly called the Goldtop, and a custom model, which offered upgraded hardware and a more formal black finish. The second issue of the Les Paul guitar was introduced to the public in 1954. Called the Gibson Les Paul Custom, this is the model that became known as Black Beauty.
One of the most iconic guitars of all time, the Gibson Les Paul has been played by countless legendary artists, from Peter Green (who played a 1959 Gibson Les Paul while in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and then Fleetwood Mac) to Pete Townshend, Mark Knopfler, Slash, Bob Marley, Jimmy Page, Lindsey Buckingham, Joe Perry, Duane Allman, Paul Kossoff, Joe Walsh, Gary Moore and many others.
Listen to uDiscover’s Classic Guitar Solos playlist, featuring many of those Gibson Les Paul disciples, on Spotify