• Country Music Sale auction at Christies

    Sale 2276

    Country Music Sale

    3 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 64

    HANK THOMPSON

    GIBSON MANDOLIN-GUITAR COMPANY AND PAUL A BIGSBY, A COMPOSITE 12-STRING GUITAR, L-4, KALAMAZOO, MI., CIRCA 1918, WITH A LATER NECK BY PAUL A. BIGSBY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    HANK THOMPSON
    GIBSON MANDOLIN-GUITAR COMPANY AND PAUL A BIGSBY, A COMPOSITE 12-STRING GUITAR, L-4, KALAMAZOO, MI., CIRCA 1918, WITH A LATER NECK BY PAUL A. BIGSBY
    The headstock inlaid Bigsby, the reverse signed Hank Thompson, the neck block bearing a faintly stamped four digit factory order number beginning with 98--, length of back: 20 1/8 in. (51.1 cm)


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    Of the fifteen re-necked guitars known to exist by Paul A Bigsby this is the only 12-string neck that is documented to have been made by him. Married to a 1918 Gibson L-4 body it was commissioned by Merle Travis and is adorned with Travis's signature motif of hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades as the fingerboard inlay. Hank Thompson would often lament to Travis about the loss of his first guitar - a 12-string Stella. Travis, in an act of unselfish friendship, gave this guitar to Thompson in or about the early 1950's.

    Provenance

    Merle Travis
    Hank Thompson


    Literature

    A. Babiuk, The Story of Paul Bigsby, Savannah, 2008, pp. 81-85.