John Lennon's lost Gibson J-160E up for auction

Lost for over 50 years, John Lennon's Gibson J-160E is going under the hammer, and is expected to reach an almighty sum, having been used to write and record a long list of Beatles classics.

Bought from Rushworth's Music House in Liverpool for £161, the guitar went missing in December 1963, but was recently discovered and verified by Andy Babiuk, author of Beatles Gear - All The Fab Four's Instruments From Stage To Studio.

During its time with Lennon, the J-160E was played on recordings of Love Me Do, Please Please Me and From Me To You, while it was also a songwriting favourite of Lennon's, and he used it to write hits including She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand and All My Loving.

The guitar is in its original spec, and expected to reach between $600,000 and $800,000, putting in the league of other fabled instruments sold at auction, such as Eric Clapton's 1964 Gibson ES-335TDC ($847,000) and 'Blackie' Strat ($959,000).

The auction is due to be held on 6 and 7 November - if you fancy a bid, Julien's Auctions has more info.

Michael Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.