John Lennon's long lost Gibson guitar up for auction

The jumbo J-160E Gibson Acoustic guitar, purchased by Lennon in Liverpool, is expected to fetch between US$600,000 and US$800,000 (S$1,079,000) when it goes on sale on Nov 6 at an auction of rock'n'roll memorabilia in Beverly Hills. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
The jumbo J-160E Gibson Acoustic guitar, purchased by Lennon in Liverpool, is expected to fetch between US$600,000 and US$800,000 (S$1,079,000) when it goes on sale on Nov 6 at an auction of rock'n'roll memorabilia in Beverly Hills. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A rare, once-lost 1962 guitar belonging to former Beatles member John Lennon will go up for auction this year and could break a record, Julien's Auctions said on Thursday.

The jumbo J-160E Gibson Acoustic guitar, purchased by Lennon in Liverpool, is expected to fetch between US$600,000 and US$800,000 (S$1,079,000) when it goes on sale on Nov 6 at an auction of rock'n'roll memorabilia in Beverly Hills.

Darren Julien, owner of Julien's Auctions, called the guitar "one of biggest finds in music history," and said its sale could top the US$965,000 auction record set in 2013 for an electric guitar owned by Bob Dylan.

"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," Julien said.

Lennon died on Dec 8, 1980, after he was shot by a fan in New York City.

His Gibson guitar went missing in 1963 during the Beatles' Finsbury Park Christmas Show, and turned up 50 years later, after it was purchased by a man named John McCaw in a second-hand goods shop in the U.S.

Its authenticity was verified by Andy Babiuk, who has written about musical equipment used by the Beatles, by matching the guitar's serial number, wood grain and scratches to photographs and videos of Lennon playing the instrument.

Babiuk said Lennon used the guitar to record the Beatles hit single Love Me Do, and played it in live shows and writing sessions.