Rare Beatles guitar played by John Lennon and George Harrison arrives in London

The instrument is expected to fetch around £130,000 to £200,000 at auction

A rare guitar played by The Beatles‘ John Lennon and George Harrison has arrived in London before it goes up for sale at auction.

The custom-made prototype VOX guitar will go on public display at The Stafford London Hotel in London from Thursday (May 9) to Saturday (May 11) before it goes up for sale in New York on May 18 at Julien’s Auctions. It was played by Harrison and Lennon during the 1967 Magical Mystery Tour era of the band.

The guitar, which was made in 1966, was given to the band’s friend “Magic Alex” Mardas by John Lennon. A plaque attached to the back of the instrument reads “To Magic Alex/ Alexi thank you/ for been [sic] a friend/ 2-5-1967 John.” According to Madras the date refers to his 25th birthday earlier that year and not the date the guitar was given to him. It’s one of the few guitars known to exist that was played by both John Lennon and George Harrison.

Last month, the door from Paul McCartney’s childhood home fetched as much as £5,000 when it went up auction in Gloucestershire. The door was from 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton, Liverpool, where McCartney lived from 1955-1964 and learned to play guitar, piano, drums and the trumpet.