Jimi Hendrix’s 1961 Epiphone Wilshire guitar goes on sale for over a million dollars

The instrument is reportedly being sold on behlaf of a private collector

Peony Hirwani
Wednesday 05 July 2023 12:26 BST
Jimi Hendrix performing in 1967
Jimi Hendrix performing in 1967 (Svenska Dagbladet/AFP via Getty )

Jimi Hendrix’s 1961 Epiphone Wilshire guitar has gone on sale for $1.25m (£983k).

The late guitarist reportedly acquired the instrument in early 1963, around the time he first started performing with King Casuals at Club Del Morocco.

According to TMZ, the guitar was last seen in 2008. Now, Moments in Time is selling the product on behalf of a private collector.

This isn’t the first guitar owned by Hendrix that has been listed on sale for a huge sum.

In 2016, a second-hand guitar that Hendrix reportedly bought for $25 was sold for more than £200,000 at auction.

In 2020, Hendrix’s rare, non-branded Japanese sunburst electric guitar from the early Sixties was sold for £171,080, also at auction.

According to Rolling Stone, the guitar made nearly four times more than its pre-auction estimate of £39,400.

(Getty Images)

Hendrix died in 1970 at the age of 27.

The guitarist’s body was found in the Samarkand Hotel, west London, in the apartment of his girlfriend, German figure skater Monika Dannemann.

The recorded cause of Hendrix’s death was barbiturate intoxication and inhalation of vomit.

However, in 2009, Hendrix’s former aide James “Tappy” Wright claimed that he was murdered by his manager, who stood to collect millions of dollars on the star’s life insurance policy.

In his book called Rock Roadie, Wright alleged that Jeffrey, who died in a plane crash in 1973, told him two years prior that Hendrix had been “worth more to him dead than alive”. He claimed that Jeffrey had taken out a life insurance policy on the musician worth $2m (about £1.2m at the time), with himself as the beneficiary.

In 2020, The Independent’s Mark Beaumont wrote an article examining all the evidence surrounding the death of Hendrix, writing: “Some close to him claim it was suicide, others a terrible accident, some that he was murdered by underworld figures or secret service operatives.

“The events of 18 September 1970 are forever caught in a confusing crimson haze.”

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