The iconic guitar used by Kurt Cobain in Nirvana‘s 1991 breakthrough video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is headed to auction for the very first time. The 1969 Lake Placid Blue finish Fender Mustang electric guitar that Cobain slashed at in the clip will go under the gavel during Julien’s Auctions’ upcoming three-day “Music Icons” auction event from May 20-22; the auction will take place at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York and online here.
Julien’s estimated that the conservative starting estimate for the left-handed guitar would be in the $600,000-$800,000 range. The auction will also include an exclusive NFT by Cobain’s long-time guitar tech Earnie Bailey in which he discusses the historical significance of the “Spirit” guitar; the estimate for the NFT is in the $6,000-$8,000 range.
Another item in the lot is Cobain’s 1965 Dodge Dart 170 4-door sedan, the only known surviving vehicle owned and driven by the late Nirvana singer/guitarist. The car, known as “Baby Blue,” is conservatively estimated to begin in the $400,000-$600,000 range, with an accompanying NFT from the collection of Kurt’s sister, Kim Cobain, who has owned the car for the past 28 years; the roadworthy vehicle comes with the original license plates and a vehicle title showing ownership by Cobain and Courtney Love.
The auction will also feature an NFT of Cobain’s owned and worn Fetalini striped short-sleeved sweater featured in the “Spirit” video (est. $6,000-$8,000), which comes with an accompanying NFT featuring Kim Cobain’s narration about the garment. Other items include an NFT with Kim’s narration and a 360-degree digital representation of the black canvas Converse Jack Purcell shoes owned by Cobain (est. $2,000-$4,000), Cobain’s personally drawn 1985 Iron Maiden “Killers” skateboard deck (est. $20,000-$40,000), an original Cobain drawing of Michael Jackson (est. $40,000-$60,000), as well as Cobain’s all-access pass from Nirvana’s In Utero tour (est. $1,000-$2,000), his United Airlines boarding pass for a flight form Seattle to Chicago (est. $400-$600) and his personally owned Pokey bendable toy from Gumby with “Nirvana” scrawled on the side (est. $2,000-$3,000).
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Julien’s announced that a portion of the proceeds from the auction of the guitar and a handful of other Cobain items will benefit the mental health awareness campaign “Kicking the Stigma.”