The guitar used by Kurt Cobain for Nirvana’s iconic 1993 MTV Unplugged session has sold at auction for $6.01 million, shattering the record for the most expensive guitar ever sold. The previous record was held by David Gilmour's guitar, which sold for $3.95 million.
Frank Micelotta Archive / Getty ImagesThe 1959 Martin D-18E was originally purchased at L.A.’s Voltage Guitars.
Peter Freedman, co-founder of Rode Microphones, was the winner of the $6.01 million bid through Julien’s Auctions. The guitar comes with its original case.
Julien's Auctions describes the historical importance of the guitar saying, "Cobain’s MTV Unplugged performance remains the definitive self-portrait of a generation’s most transformative artist. Cobain’s Martin D-18E guitar survives as the most recognizable and important artifact, not only of Cobain’s MTV Unplugged performance, but of Cobain as an artist.
"Cobain was known for smashing guitars on stage and wreaking havoc with instruments used by the band in their live performances. In contrast, after driving the last song of their MTV Unplugged performance with a primal howling, Cobain held his Martin D-18E guitar with reverence. Ultimately, he placed the guitar carefully back on its stand - almost as a stand-in for himself - and left it center stage as he walked away."