Guitars owned by George Harrison, Tom Petty, and more at Gretsch Family Archives auction

Prototype signatures for Bono and Bo Diddley, as well as historic factory tools also listed

Gretsch at Julien's Auctions

Image: Julien’s Auction

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Guitars owned by the likes of George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bono and more will be going under the hammer at the Gretsch Family Archives auction.

Hosted by Julien’s Auctions, the event lists celebrity-owned vintage electric and acoustic guitars, prototypes, drums, amplifiers and even historic factory tools.

The two-day event takes place in Beverly Hills on 26-27 March and benefits the Gretsch Family Foundation.

Here are the highlights from the upcoming auction:

Silvertone Danelectro electric owned by Tom Petty and George Harrison

Tom Petty and George Harrison gave this guitar to Fred Gretsch in 1987 to serve the prototype of the “Traveling Wilburys” electric guitar. The guitars that came out were issued to various record executives and radio stations to promote the Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty supergroup.

Auction estimate $20,000 – $40,000

George Harrison and Tom Petty's Danelectro prototype
Image: Julien’s Auctions

Bono’s Gretsch Irish Falcon Model 6136 Prototype

This guitar is the prototype of the Gretsch Irish Falcon 6136 which U2 frontman Bono played heavily on the band’s 2005 Vertigo tour. The green-finished guitar comes with gold hardware, two Filter’Tron pickups and an ornate “The Goal Is Soul” pickguard.

Auction estimate $8,000 – $10,000

Grestch Bono Irish Falcon Prototype
Image: Julien’s Auctions

John Prine signed Gretsch Historic Series G3100

This Gretsch acoustic was signed by the late Americana legend John Prine himself and comes in a dark Tobacco Sunburst finish and gold hardware.

Auction estimate: $700 – $900

John Prine grestch acoustic
Image: Julien’s Auctions

Prototype Bo Diddley cigar box acoustic-electric

Cigar box guitars were a key part of Bo Diddley’s playing, with his Gretsch G6138 and G6199 Billy-Bo being his two most recognised electric models. Listed at this auction is a prototype for an acoustic-electric model.

Bo Diddley Acoustic Electric prototype
Image: Julien’s Auctions

Other listings

Listings for a handful of Chet Atkins signature models – including a ‘64 Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville PX6120 in orange – as well as Brian Setzer signature models will also be going under the hammer. Elsewhere, you’ll find historic guitar making equipment from the Grestch factory and plenty more besides. The pieces include a rolling rack with ten drawers of saw blades, an antique cabinet, body forms, vintage four wheel open carts and more.

Stay tuned for more on the Gretsch Family Archives auction at julienslive.com

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