Vintage bass guitars



2015-06-26 10:31:09

Vintage bass guitars are generally-electric bass guitars that are deemed “vintage” by collectors. These often take the form of bass guitars from the first models of the 1930s to those of the 1980s.

Vintage bass guitars can be of particular interest to collectors if they were played or owned by a famous musician.

The Beatles’ Paul McCartney is famed for his Hofner 500/1 “violin bass”, which is notoriously difficult to play.


The first bass guitars were produced in the 1930s by Seattle, US-based inventor Paul Tutmarc. His Audiovox company produced just 100 Model 736 Bass Fiddles.


Notable manufacturers of vintage bass guitars include:

  • Fender
  • Gibson
  • Hofner
  • Rickenbacker

Notable sales

  • A Sears bass guitar, used in the early 1980s by rock star Kurt Cobain of Seattle grunge band Nirvana, sold for $43,750 at Christie's, New York in 2009.

  • A 1958 Fender Precision Bass, used by rock bassist John Kahn from the 1960s to 1990s, sold for $18,000 at Bonhams in October 2008.

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