Les Paul

Some very special guitars owned by the late Les Paul, as well as a rare 12-string Gibson Firebird played by Johnny Winter, are set to go on the auction block next month.

As reported by Best Classic Bands, in his later years Paul sometimes sent guitars to musicians he knew or admired. Often he inscribed the guitars with humorous notes. At the time of Paul’s death, remaining his possession were guitars inscribed to Bob Dylan, Prince, George Harrison (whose passing, of course, preceded Paul’s), and Paul Simon. All are set to be auctioned.

Other items up for auction include a Les Paul Black Beauty owned by Madonna (and purported to be the first electric guitar she ever played in performance), and a rare 12-string Gibson Firebird that belonged to blues great Johnny Winter. Winter famously became a Firebird devotee beginning in the late ‘60s.

“I was initially attracted to the Firebird because I liked the way it looked,” said Winter in a 2014 interview, according to auction house Guernsey’s. “When I played it, I discovered I liked the way it sounded too. The Firebird is the best of all worlds.”

The “Legendary Guitars & Musical Treasures” auction will take place in New York City on Dec. 2.