Under the microscope: Jimi Hendrix's Epiphone FT79 acoustic guitar

Jimi Hendrix will forever be associated with the Strat, but the guitar he owned the longest was actually a humble Epiphone FT79 acoustic guitar, which sold at auction for £209,000 yesterday (15 December 2016).

Hendrix bought the FT79 acoustic, serial 62262, for around $25 in New York in 1951, and manager Chas Chandler remarked he was so attached to it, he would take it with him into the bathroom.

Hendrix owned the guitar for three years, and later gave the instrument to Blue Mink guitarist Alan Parker, with whom it featured in recordings by Dusty Springfield, Walker Brothers, Paul McCartney and David Bowie.

The FT79 was made by Epiphone from 1941 to 1958 when it was relaunched as the Gibson Texan. Originally built with walnut back and sides, laminated maple was used from 1949, as on this example, while the neck, previously cherry, was re-spec'd to mahogany in 1954.

Jimi's guitar was recently on show at the Handel & Hendrix exhibition at the 25 Brook Street, Mayfair flat that Jimi shared with girlfriend Kathy Etchingham from 1968 to '69. Inside, Jimi's living spaces were recreated with painstaking accuracy from original photographs and Kathy's personal recollections.

Click through our exclusive images above to get in-depth with Jimi's prized instrument.

For a closer look at the black Strat Jimi played at the 1967 Monterey Festival, head over to our up-close gallery.

In related news, the wah Hendrix used at Woodstock is also going up for auction in early 2017.


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