• Sale 2588

    Fine Musical Instruments

    27 November 2012, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 21

    PAUL ADELBERT BIGSBY

    A TRIPLE NECK PEDAL STEEL GUITAR, DOWNEY, CA, CIRCA 1951

    Price Realised  

    PAUL ADELBERT BIGSBY
    A TRIPLE NECK PEDAL STEEL GUITAR, DOWNEY, CA, CIRCA 1951
    The bird's-eye maple body with inlayed logo Bigsby opposite the custom inlay with owner's name COY MARTIN, bearing the serial number stamped on the cast end plate 7151, fitted with three tiered necks in an eight-string - ten-string - eight-string configuration, four pedals and built in ashtray, with removable legs, length of body: 34½ in. (87.6 cm) (2)


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    Sold with original bill of sale and letter from Paul A. Bigsby to Coy Martin, Downey, CA, July 9, 1951 describing the instrument as the first Bigsby guitar with a ten string neck.


    A skilled pattern-maker, accomplished motorcycle racer and celebrated inventor, Paul Adelbert Bigsby is possibly best known for his impact on the music industry. His contribution to electric guitar design is undeniable and includes his solid body electric guitar, a unique headstock shape, with all 6 tuners in a row and his innovations to electric lap steels, which culminated in the pedal steel guitar. During his illustrious career, Bigsby designed and made instruments for numerous noted musicians including Merle Travis, Earl "Joaquin" Murphy, Grady Martin and Speedy West. In 1951 Bigsby made the first 10 string pedal steel guitar for Coy Martin, a staff guitarist on KMA Radio of Shenandoah, Iowa.

    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF COY MARTIN (lots 21-24)