1956 Gibson L-5C Guitar
Appraised Value: $16,000 - $18,000 (2014)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (1:56)
GUEST: The guitar belonged to my stepfather, who was the guitarist for the Mills Brothers for many years. And he passed away in 1968, and I've had the guitar ever since.
APPRAISER: Well, it's a 1956 Gibson L5C, and Norman Brown was the guitarist for the Mills Brothers for over 30 years, starting in 1936. This one is pictured on the album cover that we have here and on at least two other album covers that we know of, so he obviously spent a lot of time with this guitar.
GUEST: Yes, that was the last one.
APPRAISER: It's in excellent condition. It's the blonde finish, which is definitely more desirable than the sunburst finish that they used around the same time. The only issue it has is the celluloid pick guard is decomposing. We sometimes call this celluloid rot. It's real common, so that's not a big issue. And although he played it a lot and there's some wear on the back of the neck, it's really in excellent condition.
GUEST: Yeah, it's been all over the world.
APPRAISER: So a guitar like this, even without any association, without being pictured on album covers or anything, it's a highly desirable jazz guitar. It would easily sell for in the $11,000, $12,000 range. Now, he wasn't Jimi Hendrix, he wasn't a famous rock guitarist, but still, the fact that he played it, the fact that it's on the album covers with the Mills Brothers, I would expect it to sell for $16,000, perhaps $18,000 at auction.
GUEST: Oh, wow. Well, thank you, that's a shock. I didn't really expect it to be quite worth that much.
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