A guitar smashed by Kurt Cobain, the late frontman of US rock band Nirvana, has sold at auction for nearly $600,000.
The broken black Fender Stratocaster had been expected to sell for a tenth of that amount at Saturday’s auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York.
Cobain, who took his own life in 1994, was known for his intense performances.
The guitar was destroyed as Nirvana were working on their break-out album Nevermind in the early 1990s.
It has been put back together but is no longer playable.
The instrument is signed by all three band members in a silver marker. It also features an affectionate inscription by Cobain to his friend and musical collaborator Mark Lanegan – who died last year.
Cobain, who often misspelt his own name, signed the instrument “Kurdt Kobain”.
The grunge pioneer is known to have smashed a number of Fender Stratocasters during his career.
“The man was angry, and you could feel that on stage. And you would feel that by the way he would treat his instruments,” Kody Frederick of Julien’s Auctions told AFP news agency.
The Fender Stratocaster went on sale with an estimated price of $60,000-$80,000. Julien’s called the closing bid of $596,900 “astounding”.
According to the auction house, Cobain gave the guitar to Lanegan during the North American leg of Nirvana’s Nevermind tour in 1992.
The identity of the buyer is not known. The name of the previous owner is Tony Palmer. Two years ago, the acoustic guitar Cobain used for his legendary MTV Unplugged performance in late 1993 sold for $6m.
Julien’s ongoing three-day sale also includes memorabilia from other music legends including Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, Janet Jackson, and Dolly Parton. It concludes on Sunday.