Prince‘s 1959 Gibson acoustic guitar, stage costumes, demo tapes, handwritten lyrics and even concert-used handcuffs are all being offered up as part of an auction block dedicated to the Purple Rain singer. Nate D. Sanders Auctions curated the unique items from Prince’s ex-wife Mayte Garcia and former manager Owen Husney. Bidding on the items begins March 17th.
Prince’s vintage Gibson L-series 6-string acoustic guitar was used by the rocker in the composition and demo recording of many of his early tracks. The Gibson comes with a letter of authenticity from Husney, who was Prince’s manager when he signed his Warner Bros. Records contract and who has been in possession of the guitar since the late-Seventies. Bidding on the guitar starts at $60,000; 5 percent of the winning bid will go towards the charity Our House LA’s Camp Erin for Grieving Children.
Another significant item in the auction is a 1978 demo tape that Prince recorded with former the Revolution guitarist Dez Dickerson. The Side B of the “worktape” cassette features six Prince songs, including three unreleased tracks as well as embryonic versions of For You‘s “So Blue,” Dirty Mind‘s “Gotta Broken Heart Again” and Parade‘s “Sometimes it Snows in April.” Two of the unreleased tracks are described as featuring “bouncy, upbeat choruses and risque lyrics” while the other boasts “heavy guitar distortion and a chorus that include very candid sexual pleas from Prince.” Starting bid on the 1978 cassette, which was provided by Dickerson, is $20,000.
The most expensive item in the Prince auction, with a $100,000 starting bid, is a 2.2-karat diamond engagement ring the singer gave to his then-muse and girlfriend Garcia. In addition to the remarkable piece of jewelry, this item comes with five handwritten love notes penned by Prince on heart-shaped paper and used when he “lead [Garcia] on a romantic journey to the ring.”
Other distinctively Prince items in the auction include rhinestone-encrusted handcuffs – key included – used by Prince and Garcia during a live performance of “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” on Soul Train in May 1994, Prince’s handwritten “In Love” lyrics and lots of “Love Symbol”-emblazoned china from Prince and Garcia’s wedding.