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A lost guitar once used by John Lennon that was found in an attic sold at an auction for more than $2.8 million, making it one of the most lucrative Beatles memorabilia items sold.

The guitar, a 1964 12-string Framus Hootenanny that went missing for roughly 50 years and recently turned up in an attic, was used by both Lennon and George Harrison for the albums “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” in 1965, according to Julien’s Auctions. It was purchased by an anonymous buyer in New York Wednesday for a total price of $2,857,500, the auction house said.

The guitar was expected to sell for between $600,000 and $800,000, according to Julien’s. The auction house said the selling price makes the guitar the fifth-most-expensive guitar ever sold.

“Its new owner [is] now the custodian of a piece of Lennon’s soul, a tangible link to the creative energy that flowed through him and touched the lives of millions,” Julien’s said in a statement.

So how does a guitar like this just disappear? In 1965, Lennon gifted the instrument to Gordon Waller of the pop duo Peter and Gordon, as Lennon and Paul McCartney had been writing songs for them. Waller then gave the instrument to a manager, “who took the guitar home, tossed it in the attic, and gave it nary a thought for decades,” according to the statement.

A man in Britain then discovered the piece of memorabilia in his parents’ home when they were moving out of their house, Darren Julien, co-founder and executive director of the auction house, said in a video. The man informed Julien’s about the item this past March, Julien said.

“Finding this remarkable instrument is like finding a lost Rembrandt or Picasso,” he said in a statement.

The team at Julien’s worked with experts to confirm it was Lennon’s guitar by comparing it to one seen in photos and stills of Lennon from the film, “Help!” The guitar and its case were also seen in photos from recording sessions.

Musician and author Andy Babiuk was one of the experts who helped identify the instrument. He said in a video on his website that this guitar was one of the few Beatles items that remained unaccounted for.

“It’s so important — it’s the sound that we hear on those great songs that we all love, and it’s so great to know that a piece of history has finally been found,” he said in the video.

Other Beatles items have been lost and found years later. Another of Lennon’s guitars was discovered in 2014 after it was reportedly stolen from him and bought by a musician in the ’60s. It sold for $2.4 million at an auction from Julien’s in 2015. (That same year, the auction house sold a drum kit from Ringo Starr for $2.2 million.)

Similarly, a Höfner bass guitar once owned by McCartney turned up this past February after it was stolen back in 1972. The bass was once rumored to have been stolen while the Beatles recorded their final album, “Let It Be,” in 1969, according to the Associated Press. It was found after journalists and a guitar expert launched a campaign to find the guitar, which was used by McCartney for “hundreds of gigs” and several Beatles hits including “Love Me Do” and “Twist and Shout,” the New York Times reported.



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