652: 1960 Gibson ES-355 electric guitar,
custom made for Bernie Smith, serial numer A32888, pick guards autographed by Harold Bradley and B.B. King, "Bernie" inlaid on neck and stamped on truss rod cover, plastic plate applied to body "Custom made for Bernie Smith 1960", Grover tuners, gold Tune-O-Matic bridge with retaining wire, gold tailpiece TP-6, 23-1/2 in. scale, 42 x 16 in.; with original brown five-latch case with pink plush interior, brass plaque "Custom Made for Bernie Smith"; accompanied by an appraisal for $35,000 by Gruhn's Guitars, Nashville, dated August 23, 2008. Frets worn, finish scratches and crackle, plastic plate with chip, crack, one small crack to binding, some fading to color, some cracks to white plates surrounding tone and volume knobs, slight wear to gold plating; exterior of case with heavy wear especially at edges, scuffs, stains, tears to fabric covering, handle possibly replaced, velvet lining with heavy wear and fading, several holes, frayed edge. Provenance: Descended in family of Bernie Smith, consigned by descendant. Reserve: $12,000 Bernie Smith, 1922-2005, Louisville, Kentucky, began playing the guitar at age 6. His first performance for radio WHAS Louisville was in 1934. He then spent 16 years with the Hayloft Hoedown. He played in numerous radio and television programs into the 1960s and 1970s. In 1967 he moved to California and joined the Gene Autry "Melody Ranch" show and worked for Hanna-Barbera. After moving back to Kentucky, he continued to travel and play. In his career he played with Burl Ives, Tommy Dorsey, Prairie Ramblers, Rex Allen, The LuLu and Scotty Wiseman Show, Les Paul and Clayton McMitchen.