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A list of the ten most expensive items of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia ever sold

10) Left-handed Fender Stratocaster

Despite being left-handed, Hendrix famously re-strung right-handed guitars throughout his career and played them upside-down and back-to-front. The only left-handed guitar Hendrix was ever known to have used was a sunburst finish Fender Stratocaster, which he played at home and in the studio. Following Hendrix’s tragic death in 1970, the guitar was sold by his former roadie Eric Barrett to a studio engineer at the famous Electric Lady Studios in New York. It was sold once again at a Cooper Owen auction in July 2005, for £38,000(Image: Cooper Owen Auctions)

9) Original 1968 Fillmore Auditorium poster artwork

Hendrix’s music was always accompanied by suitable psychedelic imagery, from his own wardrobe to his album covers and the posters for his live shows. Many of the era’s most famous posters were created by the English design team Hapshash And The Coloured Coat, whose work remains highly sought after by collectors. Their original 1968 artwork for a poster advertising Hendrix at the Filmore Auditorium in Denver sold for $72,000 at Bonhams in 2008. (Image: Bonhams)

8) 1968 Woburn Music Festival tape

The Woburn Music Festival was the site of Hendrix’s sole live U.K performance in 1968, the year in which he recorded ‘Electric Ladyland’ and purchased his studio in New York. The Jimi Hendrix Experience played a 48-minute set, captured by a ¼ inch reel-to-reel master tape recording made directly from the soundboard. Featuring tracks like Purple Haze and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the original recording sold at Christie’s in 2008 for £48,050.**

7) Studio mixing desk

During the recording of his second album ‘Axis: Bold as Love’ in 1967, Hendrix first began to spend time behind the mixing board in the studio. In 1968, whilst in New York, he recorded and produced two tracks at the Sound Center Studios – ‘My Friend’ and ‘Somewhere’. The original 8-track console from the studio, the first board Hendrix worked on in the U.S as both an artist and a producer, was exhibited at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland before selling at Cooper Owen in 2005 for £58,000.* (Image: Cooper Owen Auctions)*

6) 1963 white Fender Stratocaster

In 1965 Hendrix (then known as Jimi James) signed his first recording contract, and recorded numerous tracks at Juggy’s Sound Studios in New York. Studio engineer Skip Juried produced many of the tracks, and kept this 1963 white Fender Stratocaster at the studio on Hendrix’s behalf. In 1970 Jimi returned to the studio to record the Band of Gypsies album, and gifted the guitar to Skip who had kept it waiting for him for five years. In June 2007 the guitar was sold at a Fame Bureau auction for £60,000(Image: Fame Bureau)

5) 1968 sunburst finish Fender Stratocaster

When recording in the studio, Hendrix had a preference for rosewood neck guitars (as opposed to the maple neck models he favoured on stage. In mid-1969 he bought this 1968 sunburst finish Fender Stratocaster for use in Electric Lady Studios, where it remained until after his death. It was then purchased by another musician who had become friends with Hendrix and his band at the Isle of White Festival in 1970, and later exhibited at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for ten years. In 2006 it was sold at Christie’s for $168,000(Image: Christie’s)

4) Final guitar

In July 1970 Hendrix bought a sunburst finish Fender Stratocaster from Manny’s Music Store in New York, and a few weeks later on August 26 he played it at the opening party for the purpose-built Electric Lady Studios. It was the last guitar Hendrix ever bought, as less than one month later he was found dead in London. Accompanied by the original receipt from Manny’s, the guitar sold at Julien’s in Las Vegas in June 2010 for $185,000(Image: Julien’s)

3) Red Fender Mustang guitar

This 1966 Red Fender Mustang guitar was used by Hendrix throughout 1967 and 1968, during the recording of his albums ‘Axis: Bold as Love’ and ‘Electric Ladyland’ at the Olympic Studio in London. It was sold in 2007 at a Julien’s charity auction to raise funds for musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina, realizing a final bid of $485,000(Image: Julien’s)

2) Burnt Fender Stratocaster guitar

During a gig at the Finsbury Astoria in North London in 1967, Hendrix set a guitar on fire for the first time. Although he burnt his hand in the process, the ritual became a regular finale in many of his shows. Following the performance, the charred Fender Stratocaster was picked up by Hendrix’s press officer Tony Garland and it remained in his family collection for over 40 years. In 2008 it was discovered intact by Garland’s nephew, and later sold at a Fame Bureau auction in London for £280,000(Image: Fame Bureau)

1) Woodstock guitar

By far the most famous and important of Hendrix’s guitars is the white Fender Stratocaster he played at Woodstock in 1969. Taking to the stage eight hours late at 8.00 am Monday morning, long after most of the crowd had gone home, he ended his set with the now-iconic distorted version of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ – described as “probably the single greatest moment of the sixties”. In 1990 the guitar Hendrix performed with sold at auction to the Italian collector Gabriele Ansaloni for £198,000, and in 1993 it was purchased by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for a reported $1.3 million. Today it is one of the star attractions at Allen’s Experience Music Project in Seattle. 

(Image: Sotheby’s)

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