John Lennon’s Lost Guitar Sells for Nearly  Million at Auction

John Lennon.
Michael Putland/Getty Images

John Lennon is still making music history.

An acoustic guitar that once belonged to The Beatles star and was considered lost for 50 years sold at auction for nearly $3 million in New York City on Wednesday, May 29.

Lennon used the 1964 Framus 12-string Hootenanny guitar during recording sessions for the Beatles’ albums, Help! and Rubber Soul, both released in 1965, said Julien’s Auctions. It was also used by Lennon’s bandmate, George Harrison, and can be seen in the 1965 movie, Help!

The auction house said the guitar received a final bid of $2,857,500. It was estimated to sell for between $600,000 and $800,000.

“We are absolutely thrilled and honored to have set a new world record with the sale of John Lennon’s lost Hootenanny guitar. This guitar is not only a piece of music history but a symbol of John Lennon’s enduring legacy,” said Julien’s Auctions CEO David Goodman in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

“Today’s unprecedented sale is a testament to the timeless appeal and reverence of The Beatles’ music and John Lennon,” added Goodman.

According to the auction house, Lennon — who died in 1980 — gifted the guitar to Scottish musician Gordon Waller, one-half of the 1960s pop music duo Peter and Gordon, in late 1965. Lennon and bandmate Paul McCartney had written some songs for the duo.

Waller later gave the guitar to his manager, who stored it in an attic in a house in the U.K. countryside, where it was left to gather dust for 50 years, per Julien’s Auctions.

The auction house said the instrument is now the fifth most expensive guitar ever sold.

In 2015, another guitar belonging to Lennon, a Gibson acoustic guitar that was stolen from the singer in 1963, sold for $2.4 million at auction, according to The Guardian.

“It’s such an important part of Lennon’s career and Beatles history. I knew it would go over $1m. I had no idea it would go over $2m,” auctioneer Darren Julien said at the time.


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