Kurt Cobain’s custom-built Fender Mustang is up for auction as part of Julien’s Icons & Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll offering, which also includes the 1993 Gretsch Duo Jet of the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and a 1988 Guild GF-60NT previously owned by Eric Clapton.
The left-handed electric guitar sports a sky blue finish and a red mottled pickguard. Cobain played it during Nirvana’s In Utero tour, and after he died in April 1994, Courtney Love gifted it to a fan.
The Mustang was constructed by Scott Zimmerman of Japanese instrument manufacturer FujiGen, which held the Fender Japan contract from 1981 to 1997. In 1993, Fender tapped Zimmerman because its Custom Shop was not equipped to create left-handed Mustangs.
Fender ordered ten examples, with six, in fiesta red and sky blue, given to Cobain before his death. It was shipped together with another Mustang on October 22, 1993, and those are the only two with a little decal that says “Offset Contour Body Patented” on the headstock.
Cobain’s guitar tech later customized the Mustang, installing a Seymour Duncan JB-1 humbucker in the bridge position and affixing a Gotoh tune-o-matic bridge.
Julien’s describes the Mustang as “the most thoroughly documented Cobain guitar to come to market, with a solid track of its provenance.”
Bidding presently stands at $75,000, but Julien’s expects it to fetch between $300,000 and $500,000 when the auction ends on October 25.