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Les Paul 'Black Beauty' guitar goes to auction

By Danielle Haynes

NEW YORK, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The prototype for the iconic Les Paul Gibson guitar, the so-called "Black Beauty," will hit the auction block Feb. 19.

The very first example of this legendary musical instrument was designed by Paul in 1953 for Gibson Guitar.

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"Modifications and experiments were constantly made on this instrument from its first use in 1954 until its last use in 1976 -- all in pursuit of the ideal sound Les craved," said a news release from Guernsey's auction house, where the guitar will be sold.

In 1976, Paul gave the guitar to Tom Doyle, his friend and luthier.

The guitar joins Chet Atkins' prototype Gretsch guitar on the auction block, one of two the guitar maker made for the musician.

The auction is scheduled to take place at Arader Galleries in New York City.

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