A guitar once owned by The Beatles’ John Lennon is going up for sale in an auction run by a Chorley firm.
TracksAuctions.com is selling the rare Gretsch 6120 guitar on behalf of John’s cousin, David Birch, and it is expected to reach £400,000 to £600,000.
It is a historically-important instrument from the musician’s personal collection, used and photographed during the Paperback Writer session held at EMI Studio 3, on Abbey Road, London, on April 14, 1966.
David was given the guitar during a visit to John’s home in Weybridge in November 1967 and has owned it ever since.
Paul Wane, managing director of TracksAuctions.com, which deals in rare Beatles and pop memorabilia, said: “I have known David for a long time and he’s had this guitar in his family.
“I have been talking to him about it for many years and he has just decided that now is the time to sell it.”
David said: “I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars.
“I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster that was lying in the studio but John suggested the Gretsch and gave it to me as we were talking.”
The guitar comes with proof of its authenticity, as The Beatles Monthly Book photographer, Leslie Bryce, took a number of photographs of John Lennon using it during the Paperback Writer session.
Photographs of the guitar’s headstock show the wood grain, which is individual for each guitar and is identical to that of the guitar being sold by TracksAuction.com.
Paul expects “intense interest” in the guitar from possible buyers.
He said: “The great thing about it is the fact that we can prove that it was John Lennon’s guitar by the nature of the wood grain. It’s specific to each guitar and we have close-up photographs of John playing the guitar and we can see the wood grain.”
He added: “It’s very difficult to remember when a Lennon guitar of such provenance was last sold, if ever. It’s that rare.”
The auction includes more than 100 lots of Beatles memorabilia, including a signed copy of the Sgt Pepper album estimated at £100,000 to £150,000, as well as items from the Rolling Stones, The Who and Kate Bush.
Online bidding begins at 4pm on Friday, November 14 at www.TracksAuction.com, ending with a live auction at 2pm on Sunday, November 23 at Le Meridien Hotel, Piccadilly, London.