Christie's Auctions Doc Watson's Iconic Gallagher G-50 Guitar

by Damian Fanelli
Posted Nov 12, 2012 at 11:28am

Christie's is auctioning a 1968 Gallagher G-50 guitar that once belonged to the late Doc Watson.

The guitar, which Watson called "Ol' Hoss," can be seen on the cover of Watson's Ballads from Deep Gap album (pictured) and is expected to take in $6,000 to $8,000. You can check out the auction — and place a bid — right here.

The guitar, serial No. 68001, comes with a case, a pick, the Ballads from Deep Gap album and its original strap engraved, "Doc Watson."

Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson was born in Deep Gap, North Carolina, in 1923. After losing his eye sight as an infant he would develop an uncanny ability to navigate his surroundings and environment through heightened hearing powers and his auditory strengths would later contribute to his musical abilities and excellence. Watson's performance career began as a street musician and later with country dance bands, playing banjo, guitar, and harmonica. He developed a dynamic and melodic approach to finger picking and flat picking styles with his interpretations of American colloquial music. He was equally adept in performing a multitude of musical genres from ragtime, bluegrass, gospel, rock and roll, popular song, and country music. In his sixty years as a performer he would garner eight Grammy awards and indelibly influence generations of flat picking and finger-picking guitarists.

Watson was known to play a Martin D-18, a Gibson Les Paul and other guitars, but his most iconic instrument was the Gallagher G-50. It was given to him by guitar maker J.W. Gallagher, and Watson used it on the 1972 album Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Check out "Tennessee Stud"). In 1975, the guitar was placed with the Country Music Hall of Fame where it stayed on exhibition until recently.

Watson died May 29, 2012.

For more about the auction, click here.

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