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'Holy Grail of Guitars' To Be Auctioned: A 1930s OM-45 Deluxe

Image: 'Holy Grail of Guitars' To Be Auctioned: A 1930s OM-45 Deluxe The rare 1930 OM-45 Deluxe Guitar by C.F. Martin.

By Clyde Hughes   |   Monday, 10 Mar 2014 09:16 AM

A rare 1930s-era OM-45 Deluxe, considered to be "the holy grail" of guitars, will be up for auction in New York City in April.

Collector Hank Risan is auctioning some of his instruments at a Guernsey's event April 2 and April 3, according to the Associated Press. There will be 265 pieces up for auction. 

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Risan, a Santa Cruz, Calif. resident, is the founder of the virtual Museum of Musical Instruments and is chief executive of Media Rights Technologies Inc.

"The historical importance of these guitars is unparalleled — these are the instruments that laid the foundation of the guitar industry as we know it," Chris Gill, editor-in-chief of Guitar Aficionado, said in a Guernsey's news release. "This collection captures the transition as old-world handcraftsmanship merged with Industrial Revolution production techniques, creating very rare, high-quality instruments that showcase the various manufacturers' creativity when they were really emerging and reaching their peak." 

One of the collection's highlights will be an OM-45 Deluxe, Guernsey's President Arlan Ettinger told the AP. Ettinger said that only 14 were ever made in 1930.

"The OM-45 Deluxe is the holy grail of guitars," Ettinger said, adding that a 2000 re-creation of the OM-45 Deluxe will also be on sale.

Other guitars at the auction will include a 1941 Gibson SJ-200 played by Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, a 1900 Manuel Ramirez Flamenco, a 1939 D'Angelico New Yorker, a 1967 Gibson SJN Country Western used by Mick Jagger on his 1987 album "Primitive Cool," and a 1959 Gibson J-200 that Eric Clapton once owned.

"Every so often, a remarkable collection is sold at auction," Guernsey's website said. "In this way, paintings by Picasso, historic racing Ferraris and other forms of the most sought after items get dispersed to passionate collectors seeking the rarest and best. Assembled by a gentleman over a period of four decades, there is little in the way of precedent when looking for a comparison to the extraordinary instruments that soon will be sold."

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