An acoustic guitar, believed to have belonged to the late BEATLE JOHN LENNON, has gone up for auction on the internet for a whopping $2.4 million (GBP1.3 million).

The stringed instrument, engraved with carvings by Lennon including a self-portrait, an Apple and a heart pierced by an arrow, was given to a pal of the legendary singer songwriter in the 1970s, who passed it on to his in laws, who eventually threw it out.

The guitar was eventually discovered in a New York garbage can by a maintenance man in 1981.

Online auction house MOMENTS IN TIME.COM is selling the prized possession.

The website's curator GARY ZIMET enthuses, "Beyond it being an instrument on which he played and composed, it's also an extraordinary work of hand-art created by Lennon.

"This is the most valuable Lennon guitar ever for sale, because of the engravings. There's a carved circle containing 3s and 9s, which represent John and Sean's birthdays, a 'B' for 'Beatles,' an apple for APPLE recordings, and several other carvings that can only be explained by YOKO (ONO). It has mystical associations."

Lennon's wife Ono discussed the instrument in a 1986 television documentary, saying, "It has all kinds of designs and meanings that didn't mean anything to anyone but me and John. It's a beat up, six string acoustic guitar with a circle carved into the bottom containing some peculiar scrawling."

20/02/2004 09:12