There are Stratocasters, and then there are Stratocasters like the Pine Cone from Fender's Custom Shop. The workhorse guitar favored by rock 'n' roll luminaries from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton has been elevated into a masterpiece of art and craftsmanship by Yuriy Shishkov, a senior master builder at Fender.
The elaborate guitar was inspired by the famous "Pine Cone" Easter egg, a creation watched over by jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé back in 1900. The bedazzled and enameled egg is a dark blue with sparkling accents. Fender took the same look and applied it across the Pine Cone Stratocaster.
The look of the Strat is designed to mimic the shape of an egg. Achieving this insane level of detail was made possible by creating a 3D version of the egg design and projecting it onto the guitar body before it was carved by hand. "If all the scales on the guitar were extended beyond the instrument's contour, they would create a perfect 'egg' shape," Fender notes.
The Strat is studded with 550 diamonds set flush into the body, neck and headstock. Silver and 18-karat gold were used for the gilding. The hardware is plated with gold. The instrument comes with a matching Faberge egg designed to look like the 1900 original, and the egg contains a miniature elephant, in keeping with the inspiration for the piece.
The Pine Cone Stratocaster is destined to be sold at auction, where Fender expects it to fetch around $1 million. The new owner will no doubt want to treat it with care, since windmilling on it like Pete Townshend might result in scattering precious diamonds all over the place.