Kurt Cobain’s ‘MTV Unplugged’ guitar auctioned for record-breaking $6 million
The acoustic guitar used by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana's 1993 MTV Unplugged in New York performance was one of several Nirvana-related items auctioned off this weekend. It sold for $6 million, breaking a previous record for guitars sold at auction set by David Gilmour with his 1969 Black Fender Stratocaster, which went for $3,975,000 last year.
Australian businessman Peter Freedman, owner of Røde Microphones, placed the winning bid, and told Julien's Auctions, "When I heard that this iconic guitar was up for auction, I immediately knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure it and use it as a vehicle to spotlight the struggles that those in the performing arts are facing and have always faced."
The guitar is 1959 D-18E Martin, and came with Kurt's original hardshell case, with a Poison Idea Feel the Darkness sticker, a few baggage claim stubs, three Dunlop guitar picks, a partial set of guitar strings, and a black velvet pouch containing a number of lapel pins.
Meanwhile, Prince's "Blue Angel" electric guitar went for $563,000 during the same series of auctions. The custom-made 1984 electric guitar was previously thought to be lost, and Julien's president Darren Julien called it the "most significant Prince guitar that’ll ever come up for auction." It didn't break the record price for Prince guitars sold at auction, however; that belongs to a green version of the Cloud 2, which sold for $700,000 in 2019.