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Lot #9239
Prince: Custom Handbuilt Cloud Electric Guitar by David Rusan

Rusan Original electric guitar, hand-crafted by the luthier that built Prince's original 'Cloud'

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Estimate: $8000+
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Rusan Original electric guitar, hand-crafted by the luthier that built Prince's original 'Cloud'

Beautiful tennis ball green Rusan Original electric guitar, hand-crafted by Minnesota luthier Dave Rusan, who built Prince's original, iconic 'Cloud' guitar for the Purple Rain movie. Hand-carved by Rusan in his Bloomington, MN shop, the Rusan Original is built to exactly the same specifications as Prince's original 'Cloud' guitar. The back of the headstock is signed in gold ink by Rusan, "David Rusan #32." The guitar is brand new, never used, and housed in a custom-made bubblegum pink flight case by Encore Cases. Accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity from Rusan Guitarworks, and an image of Dave Rusan holding the guitar.

Guitar specifications:
- All hard rock maple neck-through-body construction
- 24 3/4” scale length
- 12” fretboard radius
- 13 degree headstock angle
- 3.5 degree neck to body angle EMG active pickups, powered by a 9V battery in the control cavity, with an 81 humbucker in the bridge position, a SA single-coil in the neck
- Schaller M6 tuners
- Schaller 457 bridge
- Brass nut
- Master volume, master tone and pickup selector switch

Luthier Dave Rusan was working at Knut-Koupée Music, a store owned by local guitarist Jeff Hill, when he was asked to create the iconic Cloud guitar in 1983. Prince, a regular customer at the South Minneapolis shop, was talking with Hill at the counter when Rusan arrived for work. Prince and Hill moved to the back office, and after some time, the latter returned with exciting news for Rusan: ‘Prince is going to make a movie. He needs a guitar, and you’re going to make it.’

The requested Purple Rain guitar was to feature a design inspired by the bass owned by Prince's childhood friend and former bass player, André Cymone. Other than the body style, Rusan was told that the guitar ‘had to be white, and it had to have gold hardware.’ In the end, Rusan made four Cloud-style guitars for Prince in the mid 1980s, the last of which was for a contest giveaway sponsored by Warner Bros. in 1985. Since that time, Rusan has continued the tradition with his line of Rusan Originals—meticulously crafted instruments modeled after Prince's iconic Purple Rain guitar.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Marvels of Modern Music
  • Dates: #679 - Ended December 14, 2023