At the end of the 1960s Doug Irwin is a young biochemist disillusioned by his training. Despite the atmosphere of freedom of that time, everyone must find a job : Doug decides that he will construct electric guitars. After a self-taught training he joins the Alembic company founded in 1969 in the Grateful Dead rehearsal room.
At that time Alembic worked on the electronic processing of sound more than on its creation. In 1971 Doug builds his first electric guitar in his own name in his kitchen and brings it to a specialty shop. Jerry is there : he buys the instrument. This guitar named Eagle (Alembic) was sold for $ 186K including premium by Bonhams on May 8, 2007.
Eagle plays the role of a prototype from which Jerry and Doug embark on a more ambitious project. The result is an asymmetrically necked guitar named Wolf. It is completed in 1973 and Jerry uses it intensively for six years. The next instrument made by Doug for Jerry is named Tiger. Less asymmetrical than Wolf, Tiger innovates in the position of the strings.
In the dispute about the estate of Garcia who died in 1995, Irwin became the owner of Wolf and Tiger which he auctioned through Guernsey's on May 7, 2002. The result, exceptional for electric guitars at that time, was $ 960K including premium for Tiger and $ 790K including premium for Wolf.
Wolf is back at Guernsey's in Brooklyn NY on May 31. This single lot charity sale is organized for the benefit of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
SOLD for $ 1.9M including premium