A rare Rickenbacker guitar once owned by George Harrison and also played by John Lennon is among the Beatles-themed items that will be up for bids at a music memorabilia auction scheduled to take place in New York City this May. Julien’s Auctions will hold its Music Icons 2014 sale on May 16 and 17 at the Hard Rock Café New York in Times Square.
Harrison bought the aforementioned guitar, a 1962 Rickenbacker 425, in Mount Vernon, Illinois, when he paid a two-week visit to his sister Louise in 1963. He had the instrument painted black to resemble a guitar that Lennon was using onstage at that time. Harrison played the guitar extensively for a while, including during The Beatles’ first appearance on the TV show Ready Steady Go! in October 1963, and in the studio when the band recorded “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” In addition, Lennon was photographed playing the instrument backstage at an October 1963 concert in Scotland. Harrison eventually gave the Rickenbacker to George Peckham, a friend and fellow musician who worked as an engineer for The Beatles’ Apple Studios.
The guitar is expected to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000. The instrument will come with letters from Harrison’s widow, Olivia, and his one-time assistant, Caroline Foxwell, verifying that George gave the guitar to Peckham, as well as a letter from Peckham telling the story behind how it came into his possession.
Among the many other collectibles that will go on the block at the auction are vinyl copies of the Please Please Me and The Beatles ’65 albums autographed by all four band members, a Hofner bass guitar played by Paul McCartney, and an original piece of artwork created and signed by Lennon, titled “Shroud of Tourin.”
The memorabilia will be on display at Hard Rock Café New York from May 12 through May 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET daily. Bidding at the auction can be done in person, or online at JuliensLive.com.
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