The Rock & Roll Pop Culture Sports Auction July 2020
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/1/2020
This is the actual “Goldfinger” gold-leaf prototype Fender Stratocaster custom guitar with serial number R55897 that Prince used in rehearsals for his “Welcome 2 America Tour” and that he showcased at the kickoff for his tour at the Apollo Theater in New York City on October 24, 2010 (the "Welcome 2" tour was a World Tour that went from 2010 to 2012 and included shows in Europe, Australia and Canada). The tour started on the East Coast and Prince wanted something special as these would his first East Coast shows since 2004.

The concept for the guitar came out of an inquiry from Live Nation to Fender requesting a unique Gold Guitar that Prince had a vision of. Fender execs turned to their designers at the Fender Custom Shop in Corona, Calif., where master guitar builders specialize in delivering unique instruments, for superstar musicians as well as amateurs with the desire, and the money, for something out of the ordinary. Fender utilized the painstaking process of applying gold leaf directly to the body of the guitar, as opposed to simply painting it gold like previous Fender colors such as Shoreline Gold. It was not the standard gold finish Fender already had in the company’s guitar lines, but a remarkable gold-leaf finish worthy of Prince’s vision that he dubbed Goldfinger. The guitar neck is highly figured tiger stripe maple, hand shaped by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Greg Fessler, and contains his signature at the top of the neck. Prince played and examined the guitar during rehearsals before sending it back to Fender with his specifications that included a new neck profile, along with his selection of new pickups, for the final guitar that was then built for him to take on tour auctioned by him after the tour to benefit the Harlem Children's Zone (his tour ran from 2010 - 2012 where he performed in the U.S., as well Europe, Australia and Canada). When the final guitar was hand-delivered to Prince's Bel-Air home, it came in a custom "Goldfinger" flight case created by Morris and Holmberg. Following that, Bob Morris, owner of Morris and Holmberg, replicated that case for the prototype Goldfinger making it one of only two in existence. Morris and Holmberg Cases have been building boutique, professional cases for the industry since 1994. They have an extensive artist list that they have built for and a long history with the Fender Custom Shop. Their work with Fender includes limited edition runs for artists such as Jimi Hendrix - Monterey Strat edition, Stevie Ray Vaughn - SRV # 1, The Fender 50th anniversary edition. This original Prince played prototype guitar remained cased since returned by Prince to Fender and the guitar has not been played nor changed since then.

In the same superb condition Prince placed it in the case when he returned it to Fender, the guitar is accompanied by the custom Goldfinger flight case, the Fender Custom Shop Certificate of Authenticity signed by Fender guitar designer Yuri Shishkov who hand built the prototype guitar for Prince. In addition to this signed certificate of authenticity from the Fender Custom Shop, the Goldfinger custom prototype guitar comes with a signed letter of authenticity from a former executive at Fender who was involved from the very beginning with the Goldfinger project and who oversaw the guitar being hand-built according to Prince’s vision This executive personally sent the prototype guitar directly to Prince in New York City for his press conference and who then received it back directly when it was returned to Fender. The Fender executive then hand-delivered the second Goldfinger to Prince at his home in Bel-Air. In addition to the letter from Fender and the letter from the Executive who personally oversaw the entire project, the guitar and case will also be accompanied by the the tour book that mentions the guitar, an original copy of the L.A. Times newspaper article, and a Gotta Have Rock & Roll™ Certificate of Authenticity.
Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $150,000
Final Bid: $150,000
Estimate: $200,000 - $300,000
Number of Bids: 1
Auction closed on Saturday, August 1, 2020.
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