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Kurt Cobain’s MTV Unplugged guitar going under the hammer

Cobain died in 1994 at the age of 27.

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The guitar used by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain during the band’s famous MTV Unplugged in New York concert is going under the hammer (Julien’s Auctions/PA)

The guitar used by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain during the band’s famous MTV Unplugged in New York concert is going under the hammer (Julien’s Auctions/PA)

The guitar used by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain during the band’s famous MTV Unplugged in New York concert is going under the hammer (Julien’s Auctions/PA)

The guitar used by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain during the band’s famous MTV Unplugged in New York concert is going under the hammer, with a starting estimate of one million dollars (£810,000).

The 1959 Martin D-18E featured in the grunge groups’s performance in November 1993, five months before Cobain’s death at the age of 27.

Nirvana’s Unplugged performance remains one of the band’s best-known, while the accompanying album is widely acclaimed.

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Kurt Cobain (Julien’s Auctions/PA)

Kurt Cobain (Julien’s Auctions/PA)

Kurt Cobain (Julien’s Auctions/PA)

The guitar is the headline item for Julien’s Auctions’s Music Icons event taking place in Beverly Hills in June. The instrument will be on public display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Piccadilly Circus from May 15 to 31, before being moved to Julien’s Auctions’s gallery in Beverly Hills from June 15 to 19.

Darren Julien, president and chief executive officer of Julien’s Auctions, said: “Julien’s Auctions is proud to offer this historic guitar from Kurt Cobain, who upended the music industry and pop culture at large with his mythic performance fronting Nirvana on MTV Unplugged in New York.

“This important guitar has earned its rightful place in rock ’n’ roll history as the instrument played by one of rock’s most influential musicians and icons in one of the greatest and most memorable live performances of all time.”

Cobain’s guitar comes with the original hard-shell cased decorated by the singer-songwriter with a flyer from the punk rock band Poison Idea’s 1990 album Feel The Darkness.

Three baggage claim ticket stubs are attached to the handle, along with an Alaska Airlines sticker affixed to the case and the storage compartment contains Cobain’s half-used pack of guitar strings, picks and a suede “stash bag”.

Along with the Unplugged guitar, the Music Icons sale will feature other Nirvana lots included a Fender Strat used by Cobain during the 1994 In Utero Tour and the silver lame shirt he wore in the Heart-Shaped Box video.

Last year, the cardigan he wore during the Unplugged performance was sold by Julien’s Auctions for a record 334,000 dollars (£271,000).

The Music Icons auction will take place live and online in Beverly Hills on June 19 and June 20.

PA