The mandolin headstock veneer defaced by Bill Monroe nearly half a century ago sold at auction Dec. 3 for $37,500. Christie’s auction house in New York City had previously estimated that it would sell for between $5,000 and $7,000.
Gabrielle Gray, executive director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky, was the last bidder to drop out before the piece of bluegrass history was sold. “People at Christie’s were shocked at the price,” she said. “But it’s folklore. It’s one of a kind. It came from the most famous mandolin in the world. It’s at the heart and soul of bluegrass music. It could have sold for $100,000.”
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