Bluegrass Bus Museum


You are here

Christies to Auction Instruments Including Doc Watson’s ‘Ol’ Hoss’ Guitar

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Cristies1112.jpgNew York, NY -- Christie's is pleased to announce the sale of Fine Musical Instruments on November 27. The extensive sale will offer over 215 instruments ranging from a violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, to a D-28 guitar by C.F. Martin and Company, and to more contemporary guitars, including ten guitars from the Dopyera Collection. Of interest to our readers will be the late bluegrass music artist Doc Watson's Gallagher G-50 ‘Ol’ Hoss’ guitar.

Commencing the auction, the sale offers a fine classical guitar from German born maker Hermann Hauser Sr., Reisbach, 1949, (illustrated on page 1, estimate: $80,000-120,000); an Argentine classical guitar by Antonio Emilio Pascual Viudes, Buenos Aires, 1924 (estimate: $10,000-15,000); a Spanish classical guitar by José Ramirez, Madrid, 1905 (estimate: $5,000-8,000); and a Spanish classical guitar by Manuel De La Chica, Granada, 1966 (estimate: $5,000-8,000).

For the fretted guitar collector, the sale features a selection of over 30 American guitars from recognized makers such as Gallagher Guitar Co. and their G-50 guitar, the ex-Doc Watson known as ‘Ol’ Hoss’, Wartrace, TN, 1968, (illustrated left, estimate: $6,000-8,000). This guitar was owned and used by eight time Grammy award winner Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson for the seminal recording sessions for the 1972 LP Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Born in Deep Gap, North Carolina in 1923, Watson developed a heightened sense of hearing due to his blindness at infancy. He became adept in many instruments and performed a multitude of musical genres from ragtime, bluegrass, gospel, rock and roll, popular song, and country music. In his sixty years as a performer, Watson indelibly influenced generations of flat-picking and finger-picking guitarists. In 1975, the guitar was placed with the Country Music Hall of Fame where it resided on exhibition until recently.

The sale also features ten guitars from the Dopyera Collection with estimates ranging from $200 to $7,000. The resophonic guitar, also referred to as Nationals or Dobros, short for Dopyera Brothers was created by the Dopyera family in 1925. They developed a new type of guitar with substantially more volume, such as the Resonator Guitar, Model 175 Deluxe Special, circa 1932-34 (illustrated right, estimate: $7,000-9,000) allowing it to compete with other modern day instruments. The distinctive sound of these instruments is loud and crisp, making it a favorite in Bluegrass, Hawaiian, Gospel, Blues, Ragtime and Jazz.

Additional highlights include a Gibson archtop guitar, L-5, Kalamazoo, Michigan, circa 1928-29 (estimate: $10,000-15,000); a D-28 guitar with its original case by C.F. Martin and Company, Nazareth, PA., 1941 (estimate: $35,000-55,000); and Fender’s electric guitar, Stratocaster, Fullerton, CA, 1957, being sold with a 1957 Fender Deluxe electric guitar amplifier (estimate: $14,000-26,000).


This season, Christie’s will offer a diverse selection from the violin family including violins, violas, cellos and bows. One of the many highlights is a violin, circa 1760, created by Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini, Parma (illustrated on page 1, estimate: $400,000-600,000). Guadagnini is considered one of the finest violin makers of the 18th century and known as the last great classically trained violin maker of the Northern Italian School. He developed a distinctive style based on his interpretations of the work by Antonio Stradivari and his violins are tonally superior to many of his contemporaries.

Christie’s is pleased to offer a violoncello ascribed to Joseph Rocca from the Estate of Jeanne Louise Bayless, circa 1853 (illustrated right, estimate: $50,000-70,000); a violin by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris, circa 1850, sold to benefit Loyola University Chicago; a viola by Jacob Stainer, Absam, circa 1663 (estimate: $200,000-300,000); and a violin from an Enrico Rocca violin, Genova, 1914 (illustrated left, estimate: $70,000-90,000) from notable violinist Chaim Storosum (1923- 2012). Born in Cologne and a survivor of the occupation of France, Storosum founded the celebrated Collegium Musicum Judaicum in Amsterdam whose repertoire spanned the deep European-Judaic tradition from pre-Renaissance to the contemporary. Chaim Storosum continued to play the violin until his death in 2012.

This season will also feature an impressive selection of bows, which span the 19th to 20th centuries. Among the most noteworthy made by French bow maker Joseph Henry is a silver-mounted violin bow, circa 1855, (estimate: $70,000-90,000); a gold-mounted violoncello bow by Victor François Fétique, Paris, circa 1905, from the Estate of Jeanne Louise Bayless (estimate: $12,000-18,000); and a silver-mounted violin bow Eugène Nicolas Sartory, Paris, circa 1920 (estimate: $10,000-15,000).

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in the first half of 2012 that totaled £2.2 billion/$3.5 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War and Contemporary, Impressionist and Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery. Private sales totaled £413.4 million/ $661.5 million in the first half of 2012, an increase of 53% on the previous year.

Christie’s has a global presence with 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer