John Lennon’s old Framus acoustic tipped to beat the current $2.4m Beatles guitar record at auction – and could become the most expensive ever

Could it sell for even more than Kurt Cobain’s Martin, which went for over $6 million in 2020?

John Lennon

Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Could this guitar become the most expensive Beatles model ever next month? Or even the most expensive guitar of all time?

A 12-string acoustic guitar used by John Lennon is expected to go for more than $2 million next month when it goes on auction in New York. The Framus 12-String Hootenanny appears on classic records including Help!, Norwegian Wood, and You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, and you can get your hands on it – if you’ve got deep pockets – via Julien’s Auctions, as part of its Music Icons sale across 29 and 30 May.

It’s thought you’d have to cough up more than the $2.4m Lennon’s Gibson J-160E went for in 2015. Who knows – it could potentially surpass the whopping $6m somebody in 2020 paid for the Martin D-18E Kurt Cobain played during Nirvana’s iconic MTV Unplugged performance.

Discussing Lennon’s Hootenanny, Julien Auctions co-founder Darren Julien says [per MusicRadar], “We got a call from a gentleman saying that, ‘My parents are just moving and we didn’t know that we had this guitar where it was. We pulled out of the attic, a guitar that my father says was a John Lennon guitar, and that Gordon of Peter and Gordon had gifted to my father.’

“Within three days, Mark and I were in a car going to a rural location in the UK. And we sat at the table and the champagne was being poured. And we explained to them exactly how significant this guitar is.”

Executive director Martin Nolan adds, “We asked was it in a case? And they said, ‘Yeah,’ the case was so beat up that they threw it in the skip. So we went out and we got the guitar case and brought it in. And the reason was, we found photographs of the case itself in the recording studio with Lennon.

“So it really is part of the story. It could be argued that it’s more historically significant than the other guitar that we sold for 2.4 million in 2015.”

Nolan continues, “We think this has the possibility to set a new world record,” Nolan also said at today’s event. “We broke the world record for guitars in 2015 when we sold John Lennon’s Gibson J-160E. Then we sold Kurt Cobain’s Martin D-18E, it sold for over six million. This could be the guitar that sets a new world record. It’s so important, so historic. We thought this guitar was gone – we thought it was lost forever.”

You can find out more about the guitar and the auction via Julien Auctions.

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