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George Harrison’s rare Bartell fretless electric guitar sells for more than $300,000 at auction

George Harrison's Bartell electric has sold at auction
(Image credit: Bonhams)

A guitar played by George Harrison and John Lennon has sold at auction for £237,562 (approx. $308,795).

The instrument, a rare Bartell fretless electric guitar, was made circa 1967 and presented to Harrison that same year.

According to Bonhams, the instrument remained in Harrison's collection until 1984, when it was gifted to session guitarist Ray Russell while he was working with Harrison on the music for the Handmade Films production, Water.

The guitar was also believed to have been played by John Lennon during a 1968 interview at Abbey Road Studios for the Kenny Everett Show.

The Bartell had previously been featured on the BBC program Antiques Roadshow, where it was valued at between £300,000 and £400,000 (approx $500,000).

Russell remained the owner of the Bartell until its sale, which was part of the same auction that featured Joy Division front man Ian Curtis’s Love Will Tear Us Apart Vox Phantom VI Special. That guitar sold for £162,563 (approx. $209,731).

For more information, head to Bonhams.

George Harrison's Bartell electric has sold at auction

(Image credit: Bonhams)
Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.