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Inlaid at the headstock Gibson, engraved on the truss rod cover Les Paul / CUSTOM, stamped on the reverse 82018501 / MADE IN U.S.A., applied to the pickguard David Gilmour, black finish, with later hardshell case bearing a label inscribed LES PAUL CUSTOM-'DG' BLACK
Length of back 17 3/8 in. (44.2 cm.)
Special Notice

Please note lots marked with a square will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) on the last day of the sale. Lots are not available for collection at Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services until after the third business day following the sale. All lots will be stored free of charge for 30 days from the auction date at Christie’s Rockefeller Center or Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn). Operation hours for collection from either location are from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm, Monday-Friday. After 30 days from the auction date property may be moved at Christie’s discretion. Please contact Post-Sale Services to confirm the location of your property prior to collection. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn). Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information.
Lots made of or including (regardless of the percentage) endangered and other protected species of wildlife are marked with the symbol ~ in the catalogue. This material includes, among other things, ivory, tortoiseshell, crocodile skin, rhinoceros horn, whalebone certain species of coral, and Brazilian rosewood. You should check the relevant customs laws and regulations before bidding on any lot containing wildlife material if you plan to import the lot into another country. Several countries refuse to allow you to import property containing these materials, and some other countries require a licence from the relevant regulatory agencies in the countries of exportation as well as importation. In some cases, the lot can only be shipped with an independent scientific confirmation of species and/or age, and you will need to obtain these at your own cost.
Sale Room Notice
Please note this lot incorporates material from endangered and/or protected species of wildlife which could result in export restrictions. Please see Paragraph H2(b) of the Conditions of Sale for further information.

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Lot Essay

Following the introduction of the Les Paul Model in 1952, Gibson released the Les Paul Custom in late 1953. Conceived as a higher end model, the Custom had a bound ebony fingerboard with large pearl block position markers, a multi-bound headstock with pearl inlay and all gold-plated hardware. The mahogany and maple body was finished in an opaque black color and was multi-bound in white and black binding. With wider fret wire filed down to a minimum height, it had a very “fast” feel to the neck and carried the moniker The Fretless Wonder in the Gibson catalogue, selling for $325.00. Today the Custom is more often referred to as the Black Beauty.
This guitar was presented to David Gilmour by guitar legend Les Paul in appreciation of his guest performance at the Les Paul Tribute Concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, on 18th August 1988, in between shows with Pink Floyd on the third North American leg of the A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour. Gilmour performed a soulful blues solo, later returning to the stage for a guitar jam with a star-studded cast of musicians including Waylon Jennings, B.B. King, Steve Miller, Eddie Van Halen and Les Paul. Meeting B.B. King for the first time that evening, Gilmour recalls that after King heard him play, he approached him with the plaudit Hey, boy, are you sure you wasn't born in Mississippi? The full show was released on VHS in 1988 as Les Paul & Friends: He Changed the Music. Gilmour kept the guitar for studio use.

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