John Lennon's acoustic guitar sold for record $2.4 million
An acoustic guitar owned by John Lennon during the formative years of The Beatles has sold for $2.4 million at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills.
Dating from 1962, Lennon used the guitar to write many of the band's early hits including 'She Loves You', 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' and 'All My Loving'. He also played it during the recording of the albums 'Please Please Me' and 'With the Beatles', and at countless live performances, before losing it in December 1963 at The Beatles Finsbury Park Christmas Show.
Decades later the lost guitar turned up in the possession of musician John McCaw, and was later authenticated by Andy Babiuk, the world's leading expert on Beatles guitars, who described it as "without a doubt one of the most historically important guitars to ever come up for auction".
Offered with an estimate of $600,000-$800,000, the guitar soared to a final price of $2,410,000, setting a new record price for Beatles memorabilia, and indeed any piece of historic music memorabilia.
The previous record for a piece of Beatles memorabilia was set in 1985, when John Lennon's hand-painted Rolls Royce sold for $2.29 million.
Following hot on the heels of the guitar was another iconic piece of Beatles memorabilia – the original drum head used by the band during their landmark 1964 performance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The drum head was one of just seven hand-painted examples featuring the band's famous 'drop-T' logo, and was also used during gigs on their first U.S tour.
Having spent 20 years in storage at Abbey Road, it was later snapped up in 1994 for $44,000 by collector Russ Lease, who then spent years of meticulous research to prove it was the one used on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The drum head hit the auction block at Julien's with an estimate of $800,000-$1 million, and sold for $2,125,000.
Together, the guitar and the drum head are the two most valuable items ever sold by Julien's, smashing the company's previous record price of $1.8 million set by Michael Jackson's Thriller jacket in 2011.
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