BB King’s latter-day Lucille ES-345 is going up for auction

BB King performs live with his Gibson ES-345 Lucille electric guitar
(Image credit: Astrid Stawiarz / Stringer / Getty)

BB King’s iconic Lucille Gibson ES-345 electric guitar is set to go under the hammer at auction later this year.

Of course, the king of the blues gave the name Lucille to many guitars throughout his career, but this particular model was the primary guitar that accompanied him throughout his later touring years.

Given to BB King by Gibson for the bluesman’s 80th birthday, the guitar is a black Gibson ES-345 prototype 1 of 80 limited-editions.

BB King Lucille Gibson ES-345 auction

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

The headstock has ‘BB King 80’ and a crown inlaid with mother-of-pearl, plus ‘Gibson’ on a gold plate, and a pickguard inscribed with a crown and ‘BB King’ in gold.

Even the pickups read ‘BB’, and the back of the headstock reads ‘Prototype 1’. The guitar comes with a hard leather case with ‘BB King’ embroidered in gold.

BB King Lucille Gibson ES-345 auction

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

The guitar is estimated to go for between $80,000 and $100,000 when it goes on sale between 16 and 20 September 2019 at Julien’s Auctions.

Also of interest to guitarists is a Stella Harmony acoustic guitar, which was gifted and signed by Les Paul, and estimated to go for $1,000-$2,000.

BB King Lucille Gibson ES-345 auction

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

Other items include King’s dazzling stage jackets, a pocket watch gifted by U2, and BB’s stage and photoshoot yellow gold ‘BB’ ring.

Head over to Julien’s Auctions for more info.

The California auction house is also playing host to an auction of Steely Dan man Walter Becker’s gear, which you can admire here.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

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