John Lennon guitar

John Lennon’s Framus 12-string hootenanny acoustic guitar and Maton case, sold for $2.25m at Julien’s Auctions.

Image credit: Julien’s Auctions.

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John Lennon’s 12-string hootenanny guitar, presumed lost for 50 years and rediscovered in an attic amid a house move in the UK, sold at an auction in New York for $2.25m/£1.77m ($2.9m inclusive of fees).

Used in The Beatles’ hits Help! and You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, the 12-string acoustic guitar and Maton case were offered at Julien's Auction’s two-day Music Icon’s sale on May 29-30 at Hard Rock Café in New York.

Billed as 'one of the most historically important Beatles guitars in rock history' and carrying an estimate of $600,000-800,000, the guitar made over four times the low estimate and set a record as the most expensive Beatles guitar to sell at auction. The winning bid was placed on the telephone by an anonymous buyer.

John Lennon guitar

John Lennon’s Framus hootenanny acoustic guitar set a record for a Beatles guitar at auction when it sold at Julien’s.

Image credit: Julien’s Auctions.

The previous record for a Beatles guitar sold at auction was another John Lennon guitar sold by Julien’s: a 1962 Gibson J-160E electric/acoustic which featured on She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand and All My Loving which sold for $2.4m (£1.9m) including fees in 2015.

“We are absolutely thrilled and honoured to have set a new world record with the sale of John Lennon’s lost hootenanny guitar,” said David Goodman, chief executive officer of Julien’s Auctions. “This guitar is not only a piece of music history but a symbol of John Lennon’s enduring legacy. 

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