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B.B. King

‘Lucille’ guitar tops Julien’s B.B. King auction at $280K

B.B. King
B.B. King’s ‘Lucille’ guitar that sold for $280,000. Julien’s Auctions image

LOS ANGELES – Julien’s Auctions conducted a music auction of property from the estate of B.B. King on Saturday, Sept. 21. The centerpiece of the sale was King’s stage-played “Lucille” black Gibson ES-345 prototype, one for 80 limited edition Lucille guitar that was gifted by Gibson to B.B. King on his 80th birthday. This “Lucille,” which was King’s primary guitar on tour in his later years, sold for $280,000, well over its original estimate at $80,000-$100,000. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

The revered 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist, singer and founding father of the electric blues, began naming all of his Gibson guitars “Lucille” after an incident in 1949 where he ran into a fire to save his guitar which allegedly started in a fight over a woman named Lucille.

B.B. King
B.B. King stage-worn diamond ring that sold for $16,250. Julien’s Auctions image

Another top highlight of the event was the sale of King’s collection of original 78rpm blues records (below) that sold for an astronomical $51,200, one hundred times its original estimate of $500.

B.B. King
Original 78rpm records by B.B. King, including: ‘Jump with You Baby,’ ‘Bad Luck,’ ‘Shut Your Mouth,’ ‘Be Careful with A Fool,’ ‘Neighborhood Affair,’ and ‘When My Heart Breaks Like A Hammer,’ together with 17 original 78rpm blues records from King’s personal collection. The lot sold for $51,200. Julien’s Auctions image

Other highlights included:

–  A stage-played black 2005 Gibson ES-345 Special Edition Lucille guitar gifted to B.B. King to commemorate his 83rd birthday whose hammer price was $43,750;

–  A Gibson ES-355 Stereo guitar from 1969 that sold for $31,250, ten times its original estimate of $3,000;

– King’s gold-finished “Merry Christmas” Gibson Lucille guitar with a Christmas tree drawing on the body which sold for $25,000;

–  A Gibson Custom guitar in sunburst finish (below) that sold for $25,000;

B.B. King
A B.B. King Gibson Custom guitar in sunburst finish, serial number 61221, which sold for $25,000. Julien’s Auctions image

–  A brick “from the grandstand where Elvis Presley performed at the 1956 Miss-Ala. Fair & Dairy Show” that sold for $22,400;

–  A stage- and photoshoot-worn 18K gold ring centering the letters “BB” mounted with 22 round diamonds that sold for $16,250;

– An 18K yellow Hopkins & Hopkins gold pocket watch gifted from U2 to B.B. King in 1989 engraved “Love U2 ’89” in the interior and “B.B. King” on the back, which sold for $12,800, four times its original estimate of $3,000.

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B.B. King