Is Bob Dylan‘s Fender XII the next million-dollar guitar?

Bob Dylan's Electric XII Auction
(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock And Roll)

The Fender Electric XII that Bob Dylan used on his landmark 1966 double album Blonde On Blonde us up for auction.

The Gotta Have Rock And Roll auction – which also sees Kirk Hammett of Metallica's iconic Ouija Board ESP KH-2 under the hammer – invites minimum bides of $215,000 for Dylan's Electric XII, with the 12-string electric guitar valued by Heritage Auction Appraisal Services at a cool $1 million.

The guitar comes with a certificate of authenticity from Dylan's management, Clive Brown, George Gruhn, and Jody Carver, who worked at Fender Liaison from 1949 through the mid-1970s. Carver confirms that the guitar was gifted to Dylan and was used during his 1965 recording sessions at Columbio Studios, which Carver attended.

Carver’s statement on the certificate reads: "Due to my knowledge of musicians and studios in the Northeast, I was Fender's first choice for supplying artists...I have inspected the 1965 Fender Electric XII...serial no L72261, and can confirm (Due to the unique wood grain figuring at the end of the fingerboard) that this was the instrument given to Bob Dylan by the Fender company.”

Distinguishing this Electric XII from the production models of the era is a white pearloid pickguard, with Fender soon defaulting to tortoiseshell guards for production models. Only a handful of these Electric XIIs were produced, as Fender chased the folk dollar after Dylan crossed the Rubicon by using electric guitar at Newport.

Dylan's model has an alder body with a bolt-on maple neck with no stamp, a rosewood fingerboard, “witch's hat“ control knobs as typically found on a Fender amp, and of course the Electric XII’s distinctive 6x6 hockey stick style headstock. 

The guitar is sold with its original black Tolex case, stencilled in green paint “Property of Ashes & Sand Inc.” – Dylan's original touring company. 

Check out the listing here.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.