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© Genesis Publications 2013
LOT 65 BONHAMS 2011
EST: $1,200 - $1,800
Serial No: V25 583
Body: Maple/alder neck-through-body construction, hollow-moulded composite shell wings with aluminium ribs, Ocean Pearl finish
Neck: Maple, 22 frets, rosewood fingerboard with abalone dot inlays
Headstock: White metal plaque engraved with ‘Om’ motif
Bridge: Strings-through-body nickel-plated bridge baseplate with six adjustable saddles
Pickguard: Composite with RKS logo
Pickups: Two humbucking
Controls: Internally mounted volume and tone
Switches: Internally mounted three-position pickup selector
Additional: Hexagonal keys, three picks
Case: Black rectangular hardshell case with black plush lining, handwritten label with various inscriptions including ‘RKS ‘Dr Who Special’ V25 583, Gift from Dave Mason, R.A.H. 05.’
American industrial designer Ravi K. Sawhney is the founder and CEO of RKS, a company known for its award-winning appliance, home electronics, kitchen utensil, and medical equipment product designs and for its role in the development of the Panaflex Millennium XL camera system. Sawhney also helped develop touchscreen technology and the Teddy Ruxpin animatronic talking toy bear. In 2000 Sawhney conceived an innovative and unusual new guitar design, which inspired him to go into business as a guitar manufacturer.
Ravi’s brother Ramesh introduced Ravi to his friend, guitarist/singer Dave Mason, who agreed to become a company partner and provide RKS Guitars with valuable constructive criticism about the guitar’s design from his perspective as a professional musician. RKS developed a variety of solidbody and hollowbody models, all based upon a basic neck-through-body design with innovative wings that attached to the centre section with aluminum ribs that enhanced resonance.
The guitar’s distinctive body shape was allegedly based on the curvaceous hips of an unspecified famous singer/actress. Although the design world, guitar magazines, and a handful of players brave enough to stray from the comfort of traditional instruments praised Sawhney’s visionary designs, RKS Guitars produced guitars only for a very brief period from 2003 through 2007. The biggest problem was the expensive price tag for their initial models.
By the time RKS introduced its first affordable models it was too late as the company’s profits were already experiencing a severe decline. Mason, who toured with Clapton as a member of Delaney and Bonnie and Friends in 1969, personally gave this guitar to Clapton as a gift during the Cream reunion concerts at Royal Albert Hall in May 2005.