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The guitar Kurt Cobain used in Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit video can be yours

Kurt Cobain
(Image credit: YouTube)

The guitar Kurt Cobain played in the video shot for Nirvana's 1991 anthem Smells Like Teen Spirit is being put up for auction next month by Julien's Auctions as part of their Music Icons event.

Scheduled to go under the hammer on May 20, the 1969 Fender Mustang guitar is expected to receive opening bids between $600,000 and $800,000. 

Not only is the guitar itself a rare item, being a left-handed instrument and owned by one of the most notable figures in music history, it was considered by Cobain himself to be extremely rare. Cobain told Guitar World in one of his final interviews, "I'm left-handed, and it's not very easy to find reasonably priced, high-quality left-handed guitars.

"But out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favourite."

According to the musician, he'd only ever owned two guitars of the same model, which will in no doubt amplify the item's exclusivity to even greater extremes.

"This May, our Music Icons event representing the first sale of Kurt Cobain's mythic 1969 Fender electric guitar will be a once in a lifetime auction for the ages," says Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien's Auctions.

"To see this fabled guitar, one of the most culturally significant and historically important guitars not only of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana's legacy but in all of rock music history, come to our auction house has been one of our greatest privileges and most distinguished honors.

"The guitar—a left-handed 1969 Fender Mustang in Competition Lake Placid Blue finish—is expected to receive opening bids between $600,000 and $800,000," Julien continues. "It is the same guitar that Cobain can be seen playing in the video for Smells Like Teen Spirit.

"Rarely do personally owned items from Kurt Cobain with this incredible and unprecedented provenance of his life and career become available for public sale".

Other items to be auctioned off at the Music Icons event includes Cobain's 1965 Dodge Dart, the only known surviving vehicle driven by the late musician, as well as a skateboard with a hand-drawn image of Iron Maiden's "Eddie" mascot, and a painting Cobain made of Michael Jackson.

To find out more about the auction, visit the Julien Auction's website.

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.