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Guitars

Guitars have their roots in the stringed instruments of the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians as well as the ancient central Asian instruments that ranged from three to five strings. The four-course string guitar with four pairs of strings, or eight strings total, became popular in most of Europe by the Renaissance. The five-course string chitarra and the first music written for guitar appeared in Spain in the 1500s. Six courses of strings appeared on the guitarra battente of Italy in the 1600s, and this instrument was subsequently altered to use six single strings.

The modern classical guitar was developed by Spanish guitarmaker Antonio Torres around 1850. Guitar size and shape has not changed since Torres' innovations. The arch-top guitar was introduced by Orville Gibson in 1894. Steel strings for guitars became available to the public around 1900. The electric guitar was introduced in the '20s in response to the popularity of Hawaiian music. The solid-body electric guitar was developed in the late '30s and '40s.

The value of a vintage guitar is determined by several factors. Condition dictates value, with guitars in excellent condition commanding the highest prices. Value drops off steeply for guitars in good or fair condition. Rarity also factors into value, as does age. For some guitar models, however, the year they were made can reduce the value. Provenance also factors in to the value of vintage guitars. A guitar played by a famous musician or one that has historical importance will sell for a much higher price than a guitar of the same model without provenance.


Quick Facts

  • Kent was an importer of guitars in the United States during the '60s. Collectors find Kent guitars to be an affordable way to acquire classic '60s instruments
  • A man in Missouri currently owns a personal collection of over 3,000 guitars, banjos, ukuleles, zithers, and other similar instruments. The man's collection was featured on an episode of "Billy Connolly's Route 66"
  • Guitars owned or played by famed guitar player Eric Clapton are highly desired by collectors. Clapton's Fender Stratocaster Blackie guitar is currently valued at $959,500

Recommended Items at Auction

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Ibanez LGB30 Single Cutaway Hollowbody Double F Hole Electric Guitar with Hard Case
May 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Ibanez LGB30 Single Cutaway Hollowbody Double F Hole Electric Guitar with Hard Case
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $300- $900
$42522 Bids
Guild Music 12 String Wood Acoustic Guitar w/ Case
Apr 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Guild Music 12 String Wood Acoustic Guitar w/ Case
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$45014 Bids
Daphne Blue Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster Electric Guitar with Gig Bag Mexico
May 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Daphne Blue Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster Electric Guitar with Gig Bag Mexico
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $650- $1,000
$4759 Bids
Eastman AR503CE Archtop Single Cutaway Hollowbody Electric Guitar with COA and Hard Case
May 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Eastman AR503CE Archtop Single Cutaway Hollowbody Electric Guitar with COA and Hard Case
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $1,250- $1,750
$7008 Bids
PRS SE Custom 24 Exotic Rosewood Natural Mahogany Electric Guitar with Gig Bag Paul Reed Smith
May 11, 12:00 PM EDT
PRS SE Custom 24 Exotic Rosewood Natural Mahogany Electric Guitar with Gig Bag Paul Reed Smith
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $1,000- $3,000
$608 Bids
Fender Standard Telecaster Upgrade Brown Tobacco Sunburst Mexico with Gig Bag
May 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Fender Standard Telecaster Upgrade Brown Tobacco Sunburst Mexico with Gig Bag
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $700- $1,000
$1255 Bids
A Charvel by Jackson/Charvel, Serial Number 2838 29, With Soft Case
Apr 23, 11:00 AM AEST
A Charvel by Jackson/Charvel, Serial Number 2838 29, With Soft Case
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD200- AUD400
AUD1605 Bids
Godin A8 Cognac Burst HG Acoustic Electric Mandolin with Bag
May 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Godin A8 Cognac Burst HG Acoustic Electric Mandolin with Bag
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $650- $1,250
$1754 Bids
A Samick Electric Guitar in Hard Case With Some Accessories
Apr 23, 11:00 AM AEST
A Samick Electric Guitar in Hard Case With Some Accessories
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD604 Bids
Yamaha TRBX505 5 String Premium Active Electric Bass Guitar with SKB Gig Bag
May 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Yamaha TRBX505 5 String Premium Active Electric Bass Guitar with SKB Gig Bag
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $500- $750
$1253 Bids
GOLD FLECKED GUITAR CABOCHON ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 17, 1:00 PM CST
GOLD FLECKED GUITAR CABOCHON ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$73 Bids
Godin A6 Ultra Cognac Burst HG Acoustic Electric Guitar with Bag
May 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Godin A6 Ultra Cognac Burst HG Acoustic Electric Guitar with Bag
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $850- $1,250
$803 Bids
Mitchell MD100 Acoustic Guitar With Case
Apr 21, 9:00 AM MST
Mitchell MD100 Acoustic Guitar With Case
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$252 Bids
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BRIAN MOORE MC/1 ELECTRIC GUITAR America, 1996 Length 38".
Apr 24, 9:30 AM EDT
BRIAN MOORE MC/1 ELECTRIC GUITAR America, 1996 Length 38".
by Eldred's
Est: $1,000- $1,800
$5502 Bids
A Behringer Electric Guitar
Apr 23, 11:00 AM AEST
A Behringer Electric Guitar
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD60- AUD120
AUD301 Bid
A Lyon by Washburn Electric Guitar, With Soft Case
Apr 23, 11:00 AM AEST
A Lyon by Washburn Electric Guitar, With Soft Case
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD301 Bid
1965 Vox MVI Teardrop Electric Guitar Hard Case
May 15, 5:00 PM CDT
1965 Vox MVI Teardrop Electric Guitar Hard Case
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $10- $10,000
$51 Bid
Ovation Preacher Electric Guitar Ovation HC
May 15, 5:00 PM CDT
Ovation Preacher Electric Guitar Ovation HC
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $10- $10,000
$51 Bid
Ovation Electric Guitar Hard Case
May 15, 5:00 PM CDT
Ovation Electric Guitar Hard Case
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $10- $10,000
$51 Bid
1960's Ovation Viper Electric Guitar Ovation HC
May 17, 5:00 PM CDT
1960's Ovation Viper Electric Guitar Ovation HC
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $10- $10,000
$51 Bid
2012 Strat Type Electric Guitar Soft Case
May 17, 5:00 PM CDT
2012 Strat Type Electric Guitar Soft Case
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $10- $10,000
$51 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Guitars


Gold Standard Auctions

Gold Standard Auctions

Hess Fine Art

Hess Fine Art

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers