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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's spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, and 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.