John Lennon's lost guitar found in loft after 50 years to go up for auction

A guitar used by John Lennon in the recording of The Beatles album and film Help! is going up for auction after being found in a loft.

Believed to have been lost, the 12-string acoustic guitar had not been seen or played for more than 50 years before it was rediscovered in the home of a British couple.

It is now going up for auction where it is estimated to fetch between £485,000 to £647,000.

Auctioneers believe it could set a "new world record for the highest-selling Beatles guitar".

The Hootenanny model, made by German firm Framus, was used by the Liverpool band in the 1965 Help! film, specifically in the scene when the group perform You've Got To Hide Your Love Away.

It was also used during the recording sessions for It's Only Love and I've Just Seen A Face and Girl along with the rhythm track for Norwegian Wood played by George Harrison.

"Finding this remarkable instrument is like finding a lost Rembrandt or Picasso, and it still looks and plays like a dream after having been preserved in an attic for more than 50 years," said Darren Julien, co-founder and executive director at auction house Julien's Auctions.

"To awaken this sleeping beauty is a sacred honour and is a great moment for music, Julien's, Beatles and auction history."

It is believed the guitar came to be in the possession of Scottish guitarist Gordon Waller, known for being one half of the pop duo Peter & Gordon, who later gave it to his band's road managers in the 1970s.

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It is not the first piece of Beatles memorabilia to be rediscovered.

In February, Sir Paul McCartney was reunited with his 1961 Hofner bass guitar, which he used on songs such as Twist And Shout and She Loves You.

Julien's Auctions has previously sold another Lennon acoustic guitar for $2.4m (£1.93m), Ringo Starr's Ludwig drum kit was purchased for $2.2m (£1.77m) and a Ludwig drumhead bass used on The Ed Sullivan Show was auctioned at $2.1m (£1.64m).

The Hootenanny guitar will go up for auction along with the guitar's Maton Australian-made case as part of Julien's Music Icons two-day auction on 29 and 30 May.

Also being sold at the auction is an Adam Clayton stage-played and owned rose sparkle Fender bass guitar, used at the U2 Las Vegas Sphere shows, which has an estimate of $50,000 to 70,000 (£40,199 to £56,279).

Tina Turner's Versace dress, worn during her 1996 to 1997 Wildest Dreams Tour, and Amy Winehouse's Black Fendi gown made for the opening of the clothes shop during Paris Fashion Week, are also up for auction.