Bid on Beatles' 1962 Rickenbacker 425 Guitar

A number of Beatles memorabilia will go to the highest bidder at Julien's Auctions Music Icons 2014, most notable of which is Beatles used Rickenbacker.

1962 Rickenbacker

This auction celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first American TV performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show", an event that kicked of the British invasion that continues up to this day.

This rare 1962 Rickenbacker 425 with serial #BH 439 is special because it was used by George in the Abbey Road studios, when The Beatles recorded the song "I Want to Hold Your Hand", a song that helped the band get their big break in the US.

The story goes that the guitar was acquired by George Harrison in Mount Vernon, Illinois, during his two week visit to see his sister in 1963. It originally sported a Fireglo finish when it was purchased at Fenton's Music store, but George requested to match the finish of John Lennon's similar Rickenbacker.

The Auction company adds, "Harrison used the historical Rickenbacker for The Beatles first appearance on the television program Ready Steady Go! in October of 1963 and on the program Thank Your Luck Stars in December of 1963. He also used it during a week-long tour in Sweden. Harrison was photographed with the guitar extensively and the entire band has been photographed posing with the guitar. This is purported to be the only known photograph in existence of all four members of The Beatles holding a single guitar."

And it's not just George that played the guitar, because John Lennon also played the guitar backstage at the band's performance in Glasgow, Scotland on October 5, 1963. Beat Monthly magazine also published a photo of Lennon playing the guitar in their August 1964 issue.

The guitar ended up with George Peckham in the late 1960s or early 1970s. It is said that Harrison asked him if he would like to keep a guitar and showed him the Rickenbacker 425, of which he obliged. The only condition for keeping the instrument was that it must not be modified. Noddy Holder of Slade gave Peckham a guitar case when he saw him walking around with the Beatles guitar unprotected.

Supporting the authenticity of the 1962 Rickenbacker 425 are two letters from Harrison's office, one from Olivia Harrison and the other from Harrison's assistant Caroline Foxwell. The letters confirm that the guitar was given to Peckham. George Peckham himself also wrote a letter explaining the circumstances of the guitar.

According to the press release, "the guitar has also been exhibited at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, the John Lennon Museum in Saitama, Japan and the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona."

Julien's Auctions estimate that the 1962 Rickenbacker 425 guitar will sell within the $400,000 - $600,000 price range. Other Beatles Paraphernalia will also be available for bidding, including a Paul McCartney used '66 Hofner Bass (Estimate: $30,000-$50,000), Signed Beatles '65 album (Estimate $200,000-$300,000), Lennon's signed Shroud of Tourin Art Work (Estimate $20,000-$30,000), and a Beatles signed Please Please Me Album Cover (Estimate: $40,000-$50,000) .

The Music Icons 2014 Auction is set to happen at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square on May 17th, 2014. Head over to Julien's Auctions for more information.

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Rickenbacker 425

George's 425 is a beautiful guitar. A real gem, and a fine example of true rock and roll history.

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