Kurt Cobain‘s 4x12 Marshall cab, a signed Stinger Strat copy, and six strands of the late Nirvana frontman‘s hair go up for auction

Nirvana Auction
(Image credit: Iconic Auctions)

You never know what you are going to get at a Nirvana memorabilia auction. There are the electric guitars, such as Kurt Cobain's custom-built MIJ Fender Mustang that went for $340,000. But then you've got some weird stuff, like  Kurt Cobain's stage-worn cardigan, which was sold at auction for $334,000.

Iconic Auctions’ Amazing Music Auction (Vol. 1) has that beat, however. Sure, it has some very desirable items on offer; there is Cobain's stage-played Marshall 1960B 4x12 cabinet, as seen on Nirvana's Live And Loud performance.

Alternatively, how about a Stinger S-style electric signed by the whole of Nirvana? It's thought to be the one of the only guitars in existence to be signed by all three members. Well, if that's not your speed, how about six strands of Cobain's hair?

Yes, with a minimum bid of $2,500, there is a lot that offers six strands of the late Nirvana frontman's hair, plus pictures and a COA of course. It's tempting, though we'd argue that you might get a little more use out of the Marshall cab. After all, every great guitar amplifier deserves a good cabinet. This one is pretty special.

Released in 2013 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of In Utero, Nirvana's Live And Loud documented all the sweat and venom of the band's incendiary hometown performance at Seattle's Pier 48, on Pier 48 in Seattle, on 13 December 1993.

This Marshall 1960B was part of the backline that night, and comes stencilled with "K3 Music Bank – Vintage" on the rear, with Cobain's name written faintly on the top right-hand corner of the cab. 

Loaded with Celestion V30s, this is a fully operation cabinet, and was used by Cobain in other Nirvana shows, and, after his passing, by Hole and OPM. The minimum bid is listed at $15,000, and you can hear Cobain demo it below.

As for the signed guitar, the Stinger SXX S-style is finished in baby blue, with black hardware and pickguard, and is signed by Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl. Inscribed to Kelly, it is a super-rare, and quite possibly the only guitar to be signed by all three members.

Stinger guitars was founded by C.F. Martin and Co. in 1985 and made under license in South Korea. These Strat-a-likes can be found online for a couple of hundred quid. Bidding starts at $10,000.

As for the specs of the hair. Well, Cobain, a bottle blond, was in Birmingham when the deed was done. We know this because it was documented on camera and included in the listing.

The haircut was performed by Tessa Osbourne in 1989 while Nirvana were touring in support of Bleach. After Cobain died, Osbourne gifted the strands to Seattle artist Nicole DePolo, who writes in the certificate of authenticity that Osbourne and Cobain [pictured below] were friends, and that she was behind Cobain's much-copied look.

”Kurt was known for his bleached blond pageboy,” writes DePolo. ”She’d given him his first one back in October of 1989, just before his image began to circulate throughout the world.”

For piece of mind, the hair has also been certified authentic by John Reznikoff of University Archives, who you might know for his 2014 appearance in the Guinness World Records for owning the world's “Largest Collection of Historic Hair.” 

For more details, see Iconic Auctions.

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.