A rare 1962 Pre-CBS Fender Stratocaster sold for £25,000 (plus buyer’s premium) in Tennants Auctioneers’ Scientific and Musical Instruments Sale on 10th February, and a further example made in 1963 sold for £10,000. Pre-CBS Fender Stratocasters are considered by many to be the Holy Grail of electric guitars, and these examples attracted interest from around the world.
The Fender Stratocaster, a name synonymous with Rock and Roll, was first designed in 1953 by Leo Fender six years after he had established Fender Guitars. His first guitar, the Broadcaster (later renamed the Telecaster), was criticised for being too square and uncomfortable to use. The Stratocaster was his response, with its sleek curves and contoured body to fit snugly against the musician, and a host of new features that set its place in musical history and influenced the design of electric guitars for generations to come. Aided by the legendary Stratocaster, by 1965 Fender was one of the largest musical instrument manufacturers in the world, and Leo Fender sold his company to CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System).