The 1942 Martin D-18 was Elvis’ instrument of choice during the start of his career, with the King originally acquiring the guitar from O.K Houck’s Piano Store in Memphis after trading in his small-bodied Martin 000-18 in 1954.
The auctioneers state that Elvis prominently used the D-18 it for a number of his recording sessions at Memphis’ Sun Studios, with the guitar being his instrument of choice during the sessions for ‘That’s All Right (Mama)’, ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’ and ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight.’
Due to Elvis’ aggressive strumming technique, the Martin D-18 features significant wear and tear around the soundhole,and is also adorned with metal stickers spelling out Elvis’ name beneath the bridge. The guitar is currently on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and was featured in the blockbuster Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll exhibition of last year.
As you’d expect, this iconic guitar is expected to fetch quite a considerable sum, with bidding starting at $1,200,000 and the final amount estimated to be between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000. The winner will also receive a range of documents guaranteeing the provenance of the guitar, as well as photocopy receipts and images of Elvis playing the guitar.
Check out all the auction details at Gotta Have Rock and Roll.