Published September 14, 2004
NEW YORK – An abalone-inlaid acoustic guitar made for Johnny Cash (search) sold for $131,200 on Tuesday, the first day of a three-day auction of the estate of the country music legend and his wife, June Carter Cash.
The buyer, Sharon Graves of Grand Island, Neb., already has an extensive collection amassed by her husband, Terry Graves, a longtime Johnny Cash fan who died three years ago.
"It'll be the centerpiece of the collection," Graves said. "I bought it in his memory."
The guitar, made in the 1960s by Billy Grammer (search) and labeled "Custom Made For Johnny Cash," was one of nearly 800 items consigned to Sotheby's auction house by the Cashes' children after both performers died last year.
Besides more than 50 musical instruments, the auction includes stage outfits -- black for him, of course -- gold records, Grammys, handwritten lyrics, jewelry, furniture, artworks and antique rifles.
A set of memorabilia from Folsom Prison (search) including a striped prisoner's jacket, presented to Johnny Cash by a warden after he performed there, sold for $6,000.
The prices include the auction house's commission of 20 percent of the hammer price up to $100,000 and 12 percent of anything above that amount.