LOS ANGELES – November 8, 2015 — (UPI) — A guitar used early in the Beatles’ career by John Lennon sold for $2.41 million in an online auction.
The acoustic guitar, a Gibson J-160E, was lost for 40 years and sold for three times the expected price of $800,000 on Julien’s Live auction block site Saturday. The buyer wished to remain anonymous. The sale was a record, even for a guitar considered part of music history.
Lennon bought the guitar in September 1962 at Rushworth’s Music House in Liverpool for $450. Lennon wrote the hits “Love Me Do” and “Please Please Me” on it and used it in the recording of the Beatles’ first two albums.
The guitar went missing in December 1963. How exactly is not known. The Gibson was bought by Tommy Pressley at a music store in San Diego in 1967. Pressley had no idea the guitar belonged to Lennon.
A few years later, Pressley sold it to his friend John McCaw who owned the instrument for several years. McCaw got curious about the instrument’s history in 2008, which eventually led to Saturday’s sale.
Lennon’s guitar was only half the Beatle items for sale. Ringo Starr‘s drumhead — emblazoned with the Beatles name — used on the Beatles first appearance on TheEd Sullivan Show, first U.S. concert and other dates on the band’s first U.S. tour sold for $2.13 million. The sale price was double the estimated selling price of $1 million.
Also a baseball signed by all four Beatles in 1966 sold for $100,000.
Other significant items sold during the auction were Kurt Cobain‘s green cardigan worn during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance sold for $137,500 and a 24K gold leaf piano from Elvis Presley‘s Graceland mansion sold for $600,000.