George Harrison and John Lennon’s fretless guitar sells for over £200,000

Despite the high price, it fell short of the initial estimate.

Beatles Fretless Guitar

The fretless guitar that was appraised by the show. Image: BBC

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

A guitar previously owned by George Harrison and John Lennon, after appearing on British TV show Antiques Roadshow, has been sold at auction for £237,562.

The guitar’s previous owner was former session musician Ray Russell, who revealed that he was given it because he could play it better than Harrison. The guitar itself is a fretless model, made by Bartell’s of California in the 1960s. made the prototype instrument in the 1960s. Proof of the guitar’s authenticity came in the form of a photograph shown to the audience by the guitar’s owner, showing George Harrison and the guitar.

The sale price falls slightly short of the estimate given by antiques expert Jon Baddeley, who valued it between £300,000 and £400,000. He said at the time: “I think in 25 years it’s by far the most expensive thing I’ve ever seen. You know to a guitar collector it’s initially a very rare guitar. Then to somebody who’s a Beatles fan, to own a guitar that was once owned by both John Lennon and George Harrison, can you get a better history? Two of the most important rock stars of the 20th century.”

Despite this, the guitar still fetched almost a quarter of a million pounds at auction – no small fee for any instrument. It was sold by auction house Bonhams – find out more with the lot listing here.

For more guitar news, click here.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.