Auction Madness

Looks pretty good, doesn't it? Go to the end of the post and see the close up of the f-holes. Yikes! Who lets an 8 year old with a magic marker draw on a 1958 335? An extra 10 or 12 filled holes in the top doesn't help either.

I love auctions-not the Ebay type which is really just a sale that takes place over 15 seconds at the end of the auction-but the real thing with “going, going, gone!” The folks at Heritage held one yesterday in Beverly Hills and on the internet and it was pretty interesting. I don’t know if it’s a concession to the relative slowness of the internet but “going once, going twice…” didn’t mean anything to Heritage. They would be writing down the winning bid after the bell and then open the auction back up a good 10 seconds after the item was “gone”. It was pretty annoying if the item they reopened was one on which you were the high bidder. That little gambit cost me an extra $1,000 on one of the 2 guitars I bought. Sold should mean sold-not “OK, let’s go on to the next item and then go back and take a few more bids on this one.”. One of the great things about a live auction is the “snooze, you lose” element and Heritage did their best to eliminate that. Too bad. That changed by the time they got near the end. They were gaveling the lots closed with reckless abandon after one or two bids. I missed a very nice PRS that went for stupid low money. On the other hand, I don’t really like PRS’ that much so maybe they were doing me a favor. Beyond my gripe about the procedural elements, the auction showed a relatively strong market. There weren’t a lot of ES’s but those that were there went for pretty close to retail. The two Trini Lopez Standards went at very strong prices, in my opinion. One ’66 went for just over $4000 and the other for  $3465 including the BP.  The BP (buyers premium) was nearly 20% which is a lot. It makes a $10,000 guitar into a $12,000 guitar which is considerable.  There was a ’58 sunburst that went for $15,535. Huh? $15K for a 58-that’s a steal, isn’t it???  That’s what I though until I zoomed in on the photo. In addition to the 10-12 filled holes in the top that I counted, it looked like an 8 year old drew black borders around the F-holes with a Sharpie. I went to $10,700 on it but felt even that was generous for a guitar that had been trashed that badly. Maybe you could get the black lines off without further damage to the finish (and maybe not)but it still has a ton of holes in the top and replaced tuner buttons. I liked the 68 ES 355 that went for $3883. It was marked a 69 but it was a 68 or even a late 67 (small f-holes). That was a very good buy by a smart bidder. I was out at $3734-the second highest bid.  The ’66 12 string went cheap at $2270. The red Bigsby 62 ES-330 at $5377 was a surprise. That’s top dollar for one of these and then some. The ’60 dot neck 330, also with a Bigsby (the wrong type for a 330) went for the same price, so I guess 330’s are strong at the moment.  Aside from one incredibly annoying auctioneer, it was a good day (cold and windy) to sit in front of the computer and be entertained by watching other people spend their money. Me? As I mentioned earlier, I bought 2 guitars which I’ll write about about once I get them in my hands.

The so-called "experts" called this ES-355 a 69. The serial said '68. The small f-holes suggest a 67. This was a very good deal for someone at under $4,000. Changed guard but otherwise a nice straight example. You can't buy a Historic for that. Smart buyer beat me out at the end.

Like I said. Yikes.

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