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Kurt Cobain's Fender Mustang sold at auction for $340,000

(Image credit: Julien's Auctions)

A Fender Mustang (opens in new tab) that was custom-built for Kurt Cobain and played during Nirvana's In Utero tour has been sold at auction for $340,000.

The Mustang was built under contract in Japan by Scott Zimmerman of FujiGen, as the Fender Custom Shop was unable to make a left-handed Mustang at the time.

Fender ordered 10 Mustangs in total, six in Fiesta Red and "Sky Blue" finishes being sent to Cobain. The guitar that was sold by Julien's Auctions was one of only two to have the "Offset Contour Body Patented" decal on the headstock. 

Cobain had made some modifications to the electric guitar, his tech fitting a Gotoh tune-o-matic bridge and installing a Seymour Duncan JB-1 humbucker in the bridge position.

The electric guitar (opens in new tab) was sold as part of Julien's Icons and Idols: Rock 'N' Roll collection, which saw Eric Clapton's 1988 Guild GF-60NT go for $25,600 and Chris Cornell's 1993 Gretsch Duo Jet fetch $65,625.

Other stage ephemera went under the hammer, too, including Kurt Cobain's mohair cardigan, which even allowing for the overheated market for vintage clothing went for an incredible $334,000 – a world record for a cardigan. Though Cobain did wear it on MTV Unplugged.

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.

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