Les Paul's original prototype for his Black Beauty guitar has been snapped up at auction for $275,000 (£171,875).
The Les Paul Custom black electric guitar went up for sale at the Arader Galleries in New York City on Thursday night (19Feb15) and the winning bid was placed by a representative for avid collector Jim Irsay, the owner of American football team the Indianapolis Colts.
With the cost of the buyer's premium, he paid a total of $335,500 (£209,688).
Jazz and blues star Paul collaborated with Gibson experts in 1954 to create the six-string instrument, which is widely considered the most significant electric guitar ever made. He subsequently gave the prototype to his longtime assistant Tom Doyle, who placed it up for sale.
A Gretsch Dark Eyes guitar belonging to Chet Atkins also went up for auction, drawing bids of up to $26,000 (£16,250), but after failing to reach the undisclosed bid minimum, it was listed as unsold.
Paul is credited as one of the pioneers of the electric guitar, while Atkins was recruited as a design consultant for instrument giant Gretsch at the height of his music career in the 1950s.
Paul passed away in 2009 at the age of 94.