CASH-ING IN

The country legend’s instrument fetches $131,200 (£73,200) at auction…

Johnny Cash’s guitar sold for $131,200 (£73,200) at a NEW YORK auction yesterday (September 14).

The custom-made abalone-inlaid acoustic guitar was only expected to reach $20,000 (£11,650) in the auction, which fetched $1.24 million (£692,000) in its first day, and saw some collectors pay up to 15 times the expected prices for the late country legend’s possessions.

Made in the 1960s by Billy Grammer and labelled ’Custom Made For Johnny Cash, the instrument was bought by Sharon Graves of Nebraska.

Graves, who already has an extensive collection of Johnny Cash memorabilia from her late husband Terry, said: “It’ll be the centrepiece of the collection. I bought it in (Terry’s) memory.”

According to BBC News, there were 769 lots at the auction tracing the singer’s five decade of career and his life with June Carter Cash, who died last May.

The three day sale was estimated to raise about $1.5 million according to Sotheby’s, but the final total is likely to exceed that.

Head of Sotheby’s collectables department Leila Dunbar said: “We always expected this auction to be a success, simply because of the stature Johnny Cash and June have attained.”

She added: “Here you have the most recognisable union in country music.”

A photo of Elvis Presley inscribed ’June, I love you’ sold for $18,000 (£10,000) and a pair of Tiffany silver centrepieces fetched $42,000 ($23,300).

A striped prisoner’s jacket, presented to Johnny Cash by a warden after he performed his legendary Folsom Prison concert, sold for $6,000 (£3,350).

The auction’s proceeds are set to go to the Johnny Cash estate and items still up for sale include a 1987 Rolls Royce, the grand piano featured in the singer’s last video ’Hurt’ and several of Johnny Cash’s trademark black jackets.

The sale finishes tomorrow (September 16).