Guitar previously owned by John Lennon and George Harrison sells for $300,000

(Image credit: BBC)

Remember when we reported on George Harrison's Bartell fretless guitar showing up on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow in the hands of its current owner back in March? Well, it's now been sold at auction and it turns out the programme's valuation fell somewhat short.

A UK session musician called Ray Russell had recorded sessions for soundtrack to the Handmade Films production Water around 1984. The film company was co-founded by George Harrison, and the late Beatle had asked him to play the guitar in the sessions. The Beatle ended up gifting it to him.

In the episode it was claimed Bartell's owner gave one to John Lennon and one to Jimi Hendrix. Presumably, Lennon passed his to Harrison. 

Antiques Roadshow expert Jon Baddeley valued the guitar at between £300,000 and £400,000, he said: "I think in 25 years it's by far the most expensive thing I've ever seen."

(Image credit: Bonhams)

The circa 1967 guitar has now sold for £237,562 (approx $308, 795) at a Bonham's auction. The same auction also saw late Joy Division front man Ian Curtis’ Vox Phantom VI Special sell for £162,563 (approx. $209,731), exceeding its estimate of £60,000-£80,000. 

For more information, visit Bonhams

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.