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Kurt Cobain’s guitar to sell in eBay charity auction

A guitar once owned by Kurt Cobain is set to raise money for charity in a special eBay auction this month.
The late Nirvana front man’s Blue Sparkle Hagstrom Deluxe electric guitar will be sold next week, in a sale commemorating his 50th birthday, and could fetch a six-figure sum.

Cobain acquired the guitar whilst in Seattle in 1992, when it was delivered along with a selection of similar guitars by Nirvana’s primary guitar technician Earnie Bailey.

He picked the Blue Sparkle Hagstrom Deluxe as a Christmas gift to himself, and Bailey then converted the guitar to a left-handed orientation for Cobain to play.

Following his tragic death in April 1994, the guitar was gifted by his wife Courtney Love to a close friend and fellow musician. It was later acquired by Nathan Fasold, owner of Black Book Guitars in Portland, Oregon, a vintage guitar shop which specializes in instruments with unique histories.

"The guitar has remained un-played for decades, still bearing the left-handed wear from its former owner," said Fasold. "When holding the guitar, it’s easy to imagine the songs Cobain could have created with it. It’s a true relic of the music icon."

Fasold has now teamed up with eBay for Charity to sell the guitar online, with a portion of the proceeds set to benefit Transition Projects, Inc. – a Portland-based nonprofit that helps more than 10,000 people every year transition from homelessness to housing in the Pacific Northwest.

Guitars owned by Cobain have become highly sought-after by collectors in recent years, and surviving examples are regarded as rare, due to his habit of smashing instruments on-stage during Nirvana gigs.

The current record price for a Kurt Cobain guitar was set in 2006, when his 1960 Mosrite Gospel Mark IV guitar sold at Heritage Auctions for $131,000. And in 2008, a stage-smashed guitar with Cobain’s handwritten inscription "If it’s illegal to rock and roll, then throw my ass in jail" was sold privately to a collector for $100,000.

"Connecting fans with authentic and rare collectibles like Cobain’s Hagstrom Blue Sparkle Deluxe is at the heart of eBay’s mission," said Sam Bright, Senior Director of Art & Collectibles at eBay. "The guitar represents the significant impact Nirvana continues to have on American rock history."

Bidding in the eBay auction commences on February 16, and concludes on February 26.

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