Les Paul guitar and memorabilia auction raises $5m

Auction of vintage guitars and music equipment owned by guitar maker Les Paul A collection of vintage guitars owned by Les Paul reached record prices at auction

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A rare guitar designed by Les Paul - known as the godfather of the electric guitar - has sold for $180,000 (£116,000).

The 1982 Gibson Les Paul prototype was part of a collection of his instruments and memorabilia that raised nearly $5 million (£3.2 million) in Los Angeles.

Invented by Paul, it is now one of the most widely played electric guitars in the world.

Julien's Auctions said the two-day sale set record prices for the instrument.

The money raised will benefit the Les Paul foundation, which the guitarist founded to support music education, engineering, innovation and medical research.

Other guitars sold include a 1951 Fender Nocaster, which raised $216,000 (£139,000) and a 1940s Epiphone Zephyr which fetched $144,000 (£93,000).

Research notes, a sign for the Les Paul Iridium Club, and a personalised number plate also went under the hammer.

Paul revolutionised the way music was produced and distributed after designing one of the first solid body guitars and commissioning the first 8-track tape recorder.

He and wife Mary Ford enjoyed a string of hits in the 1940s and 1950s that included Mockin' Bird Hill and How High the Moon.

Paul died in 2009 aged 94 from complications related to pneumonia. Last Saturday would have been his 97th birthday.

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