Lewes Guitar Sold for $7.5 Million Could Be World Record Breaker - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lewes Guitar Sold for $7.5 Million Could Be World Record Breaker

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Nicohlas Lee sold this 1935 Rickenbacker guitar sold for $7.5 million. (Photo credit: Nicholas Lee) Nicohlas Lee sold this 1935 Rickenbacker guitar sold for $7.5 million. (Photo credit: Nicholas Lee)

LEWES, Del.- A more than 80-year-old electric guitar sold by a guitar dealer in Lewes came with a potentially record-breaking price tag.

Nick Lee of Nicholas Lee Guitars said he sold the 1935 Rickenbacker full-scale electro-Spanish guitar to an anonymous buyer for $7.5 million.

Why so expensive? Lee said it served as the foundation for every other electric guitar ever made. He said there are only about six of these
Rickenbackers still in existence.

What Lee appreciates more than the money is the fact that the buyer plans to put it on display in a museum, rather than keep it locked up in a safe.

"It's not about the sale," Lee told WBOC over the phone. "It's about the recognition of the historical significance of the guitar."

So how did he come to own such a rare piece of musical history? According to Lee, it was an accident. Years ago, he found an expired listing for the Rickenbacker online and bid on it so that he could have a small piece of it. He noticed that the part called the vibrola was the first-ever vibrola. So he bought the guitar for considerably less than it's worth today and quickly realized it wasn't just the vibrola that made the guitar so special.

For reference, Guiness World Records said the most valuable guitar in existence is a diamond and gold covered instrument worth $2 million.

The highest price ever paid for a guitar at auction was $2.7 million. And that guitar was covered in autographs from such rock legends as Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton.

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