Underwhelming. That’s the best word to describe the results of the auction for Jimi Hendrix’s 1964 Stratocaster held on April 1.
The guitar sold for just £216,000, about $320,000, well below the lowest estimated price of £400,000. The top estimated price was £600,000, or roughly $890,000. Under the circumstances, it was not inconceivable that the guitar could have sold for up to $1 million.
The guitar received 17 bids. Bidding began at £200,000 and went up in increments of £1,000. The sale carried a 20.5% premium, making the total price £260,280.
The Strat was auctioned by Ted Owen & Co of London on behalf of Leon Hendrix, Jimi’s brother.
Leon received the guitar from his brother in 1968. Jimi was in Seattle performing at the Center Arena and asked Leon if he was getting a band together. When Jimi asked if Leon had a guitar, he said no, and Jimi offered him the 1964 Strat.
Concerns were raised in recent days about the guitar’s authenticity, as no known pictures exist of Hendrix with the instrument. Hendrix was known to travel with several Stratocasters at once, and it’s possible that he was never photographed with this particular instrument. It’s unknown how much concerns about authenticity affected the outcome of the sale.
According to Ted Owen, Leon Hendrix has never received financial support from Jimi’s estate and is in need of money due to his age and health issues.