An opulent gold-leaf Fender Stratocaster, crafted for Prince on his Welcome 2 America tour, is set to head to auction later this week.
Crafted by none other than Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov, the 'Goldfinger' Stratocaster features a coating of gold leaf applied directly to the body of the guitar, as well as a figured tiger stripe maple neck made by Master Builder Greg Fessler.
Supposedly, the concept for the gold-leaf Stratocaster came from a request from promoting giants Live Nation, who wanted a unqiue memento for Prince to use as a fundraiser to kick off the tour. The decadent instrument was initially commissioned for the Purple One in 2010, and was used in rehearsals for the Welcome 2 America Tour and its opening night at the Apollo in New York.
Prince later sent the guitar back to Fender with a list of revisions asking for a new neck profile and pickups, with an entirely new guitar being created for Prince based off his revisions (and later purchased by F1 driver Lewis Hamilton). For reasons unknown, Prince also requested that this prototype should never duplicated, with the guitar living untouched in its gold velvet flight case for nearly ten years as a result.
The 'Goldfinger' Stratocaster is set to head to auction on July 22 via Gotta Have Rock and Roll, and is expected to fetch a sum between USD $200,000 - $300,000.
Check out the gold-leaf Strat in greater detail over at Gotta Have Rock and Roll today.