Beatles Guitar Sells to the Tune of $408,000

Album cover photo for 'Meet the Beatles!'

An electric guitar played by late Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison has fetched $408,000 at auction -- twice the sum it was expected to go for.

The semi-hollow-body electric guitar was sold to an unidentified bidder at the Music Icons event, held Saturday at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan.

Julien's Auctions had pitched the rare VOX guitar as the centerpiece of their one-day special auction, noting the sale offered “collectors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the rarest pieces of Beatles memorabilia ever to be offered.”

Harrison had apparently practiced the Beatles hit “I Am The Walrus” with the instrument, while Lennon used it in a video session for the song “Hello, Goodbye.”

The auction house said the custom-made guitar by Mike Bennett and Dickey Denney was gifted by Lennon to “Magic Alex” Mardas in 1967.

Displayed in recent weeks at a museum in Ireland before the sale, the instrument was sold a few years ago by Christie's Auction House for a little over $100,000.

Other items which went under the hammer included memorabilia from Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Bette Midler, David Cassidy, David Bowie, The Grateful Dead, Madonna and Jimi Hendrix.

Few instruments hold their value quite like one that was used by a Beatle. In 2000, George Michael apparently paid $2 million for the white Steinway piano used by Lennon to write his 1970 hit "Imagine.” The following year, Michael put the piano back on display. Earlier this year, an autographed copy of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" sold for $290,500.

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