Kurt Cobain’s pick from Nevermind era sells at auction for over $14,000

The pick is signed by Cobain, and is thought to have been used to track demos for Nevermind.

A guitar pick that once belonged to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain has fetched over $14,000 at an auction.

The orange Dunlop Tortex pick was sold for $14,678 and it is believed to be the highest amount of money ever paid for a pick. The sale concluded on 10 June, and it was purchased by Nirvana fan Shaun Ertischek.

The heavily used pick has been signed by Cobain with the purposeful misspelling of ‘Kurdt Kobain’ sprawled in marker pen on one side, and there is also a doodled ‘tortoise’ in place of the original logo on the other side.

Side by side image of the front and back of the orange pick with Kurt's writing on
Images: Iconic Auctions

According to Guitar World, the pick was acquired on Friday 6 April, 1990, which marked the end of the week that Nirvana spent demoing Nevermind tracks at Butch Vig’s Smart Studios – including the version of Polly that would make the final album – making chances very high that the pick was used during those sessions.

Ertischek told the publication, “I knew this piece was special when I saw it come up at auction. Guitars and other equipment used by Kurt Cobain have gone for exorbitant prices.

“I often try to get my hands on guitar picks during live concerts, but there is usually no way to authenticate them because they are so generic,” he says. “How can anyone prove that a particular pick was used by a musician?

“This pick, however, was signed by Kurt on one side and he drew on the other side. His personality comes through in this little doodle.”

Back in May, a black left-handed Fender Stratocaster which had been smashed by Cobain during the Nevermind era was also sold for a hefty price at auction.

Although the damaged axe was expected to fetch an estimated $60,000, it ended up going for almost ten times the price at $595,000, an amount the auction house called “astounding”.

To learn more about the auction, head to Iconic Auctions.

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