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Lot 0491 Details

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Robbie Robertson’s 1965 Fender Telecaster electric guitar, serial number L97811, incorporates an alder wood body and a maple neck with a maple fingerboard inlaid with black dot fret markers and 21 frets.

The four-bolt neck plate is engraved with the guitar’s serial number – “L97811” – and the neck heel is stamped “3JUN65B,” indicating the guitar’s date of manufacture as June 3, 1965.

The guitar’s headstock has the original Fender/Telecaster logo as well as the factory stock Kluson tuning pegs and Fender string tree. The neck’s original factory lacquer finish is beautifully worn and well played. The guitar’s electronics are wired using the Fender factory volume and tone controls with knurled flat-top Fender chrome-plated knobs and a 3-position switch with a black Tele switch tip, all mounted to a chrome-plated Telecaster control plate and wired to the Telecaster input jack cup mounted to the bottom side of the guitar. The strap buttons on the guitar are also original factory stock.

In 1970, Robertson stripped the guitar’s original black finish from the body to bare wood, a common practice in the day among musicians. Remnants of the original Fender black finish can be found under the control plate, in the pickguard cavity, and in the neck pocket. Soon after, Robertson installed a Gibson PAF humbucking pickup in the forward neck position mounted onto the guitar’s three-ply white/black/white Telecaster pickguard.

In 2000, Robertson had the guitar fitted with a Bigsby B16 vibrato tailpiece utilizing the guitar’s original Telecaster bridge pickup.

As with most well-used musical instruments, the evolution of this historically important Fender Telecaster shows how it was frequently used to inspire a musician to create great music. As Robertson explains, “Each incarnation of my hot-rodding this instrument seemed to give it a new life, along with a different creative surge.”

Bob Dylan
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Estimate $400,000 - $600,000May 19, 2018
Starting Price $100,000
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Ships fromNew York City, NY, United States

Julien's Auctions

New York City, NY, USA