Lost John Lennon Guitar Could Break Auction Record
A rare guitar belonging to John Lennon will go to auction at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills on November 6. The 1962 Gibson acoustic guitar, a J-160E model, is expected to fetch between $600,000–$800,000, but could even top the $965,000 auction record set in 2013 for an electric guitar owned by Bob Dylan.
The guitar, which has had its authenticity verified, went missing after the Beatles’ Finsbury Park Christmas Show in 1963 and turned up 50 years later in a secondhand store.
Auction house owner Darren Julien told Reuters that the instrument is “one of the biggest finds in music history,” adding that “John Lennon items don’t come up very often because a lot of people keep them. This was one of his favorite guitars, he talked about wishing he still had it.”
Lennon is said to have used the guitar to record the hit single “Love Me Do,” and wrote the songs “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Please, Please, Me,” “All My Loving,” and “From Me to You” with it. It can be seen in the 1963 videos of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “This Boy.”
Beatles scholar Andy Babiuk, who verified the guitar as having belonged to Lennon, noted in a press release that “wood grain is like a fingerprint, no two are the same…It is without a doubt one of the most historically important guitars ever to come up for auction.”
The guitar will be part of the “Icons and Idols: Rock n’ Roll” sale, which will take place from November 6–7, and will also feature a painted Beatles drumhead from their 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, a pair of trademark Lennon “granny glasses,” and several handwritten letters from various members of the band.
In 2014, a letter from Lennon to Yoko Ono fetched $28,000 at auction (see John Lennon Letter Praising Yoko Ono Fetches $28K), while manuscripts sold for a whopping $3 million (see Beatles Sold! John Lennon Manuscripts Score $3 Million).
Earlier this year, Lennon’s mother’s home hit the auction block (see John Lennon’s Mother’s Home Goes to Auction). The famous Beatle never resided there, however; he actually lived with his aunt down the street.
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