Les Paul and Chet Atkins Prototype Guitars Go to Auction

UPDATE: On Feb. 20 2015, the Les Paul prototype guitar sold at auction for $275k to Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts. This final price was significantly less than some estimates had initially pointed to.

If you've been waiting to pull the trigger on a near-priceless piece of rock history, February 19 might be your day. That is the day Guernsey's will be auctioning off Les Paul's personal prototype/project guitar, known as Black Beauty, out of Arader Galleries in New York.

Les Paul owned this guitar from 1954 to 1976, performing with it and modifying it over that period. The observant among you will notice that it has a Les Paul Custom-like headstock and fingerboard, while the pickups look like a precursor to the low-impedance pups seen in the Les Paul Recording model. Les eventually gave this guitar to his friend Tom Doyle, who remains the current owner.

To make the day even more momentous, the Chet Atkins prototype model known as "Dark Eyes" that Mr. Guitar himself owned will also be going to auction. Other notable items include Les Paul's original Ampex tape recorder and the stool he sat on during his shows at Fat Tuesday's in New York.

Get out your checkbooks...prices are expected to approach seven figures.

Tom talking about the Les Paul prototype

Tom talking about the Chet Atkins prototype

For more info on the auction, see the official auction site.

For more info on Tom Doyle, see Tom's website.

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