Entertainment & Arts

John Lennon's guitar sells for $408,000

Beatles guitar
Image caption Lennon gave the guitar as a birthday present to his friend Alexis Mardas

A guitar played by John Lennon and George Harrison of The Beatles has sold for $408,000 (£269,000) at auction.

The custom-made instrument, built in 1966 by the VOX company, was bought by an unidentified US buyer in New York.

Harrison practised I Am The Walrus on the guitar in 1967 while Lennon used it in a video for Hello, Goodbye later that year.

Julien's Auctions said the guitar had exceeded its estimated value of $200,000-$300,000 (£132,000-£198,000).

After playing the guitar, Lennon gave it as a 25th birthday present to Alexis "Magic Alex" Mardas, a member of The Beatles' inner circle in the 1960s.

A plaque on the back reads: "To Magic Alex/ Alexi thank you/ for been [sic] a friend/ 2-5-1967 John."

The date on the plaque is believed to refer to his birthday, but Lennon gave the gift to him later in the year. Mardas sold the instrument in 2004.