Kurt bought this guitar from Chris Cobb of Real Guitars in San Francisco, CA. It is one of only two known 1960's Mark IV Gospels. The other is owned by Mosrite founder's daughter Michelle Moseley. A small number of these were reissued in Japan and usually sell on ebay for around $1000.
This is perhaps the most auctioned off Cobain guitar to date. The initial auction estimate was $75,000. It was initially auctioned on April 27, 2004 at the Dallas Guitar Show by Odyssey/Heritage Auctions. At the 2004 auction the closing price was $117,500. The second auction ended on April 14, 2006. The closing price was $131,450.
From the Press Release
"This instrument is unusual in a couple of ways. It is the only known example of a Mark IV style Mosrite Gospel model. While Kurt owned and smashed many cheap (usually Univox) copies of Mosrite guitars during his career, this was one of only two actual Mosrites he owned. (The other was damaged and given away.) It was also one of his favorite guitars, which saved it from the usual fate of the instruments he used for live performances. Kurt purchased the guitar in San Francisco in 1990. "According to Earnie [Bailey], 'Kurt had only one Gospel, and this is a beyond rare guitar. At the time Kurt died, I was secretly working with Loretta Mosley to build Kurt a lefty Gospel... in some cool color.' Unfortunately, Kurt passed away as Earnie was gathering photos to send to Mosrite of Kurt's original. 'Loretta sent me a nice letter after it ended, as she had recently lost Semie (husband, founder of Mosrite) and was now running Mosrite on her own... she had sent me some sales literature of another Gospel, but could find no history of ever having made one based on the Mark IV guitar.'" (Quote reprinted from www.kurtsequipment.com.) Kurt had painted the very small Mosrite dot markers with white-out to make them more visible in a live setting. Although the current owner removed this simple modification, residue is still visible on the instrument. This is a factory right handed instrument, so it was modified for Kurt with a strap button added to the treble side horn, and the original metal string guide has been flipped to allow it to be strung left handed. The original case bears the words 'NIRVANA' and 'Fuck Elvis' in white paint which, while painted over with the same white paint, are still visible on inspection. Est. 250,000-up."
Video of Kurt rehearsing with the Gospel.
Download high-resolution photographs here.