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Last Updated: Monday, 16 February, 2004, 16:26 GMT
Lennon's guitar offered at 1.3m
The guitar was found in 1981
Yoko Ono said the guitar had been lost
A guitar thought to have belonged to John Lennon and found in a New York rubbish bin went on sale on Monday with an auction price of 1.3m.

The acoustic guitar, engraved with the former Beatle's etchings including a self-portrait, is on offer at US online auction website Moments in Time.com.

Lennon gave the guitar to a friend in the 1970s. It was passed on to the man's in-laws before being thrown out.

A maintenance man knew the family had the guitar and found it in 1981.

"Beyond it being an instrument on which he played and composed, it's also an extraordinary work of hand-art created by Lennon," said the website's curator, Gary Zimet.

The six-string guitar also features a drawing of an apple and a heart pierced by an arrow.

The numbers nine and two threes are also engraved on the instrument, representing the birthdays of John, Yoko and son Sean.

Mr Zimet said Lennon's widow Yoko Ono talked about the guitar in a 1986 television documentary.

"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," she reportedly said.

Mr Zimet said the owner had tried to contact Ono when he found the guitar but she had not responded.

The Moments in Time website also recently put up another piece of John Lennon memorabilia up for sale - an album cover signed by Lennon for Mark Chapman, hours before Chapman shot the musician dead in New York.

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19 Jan 04  |  Merseyside
Buyers race for Lennon killer LP
02 Dec 03  |  Entertainment
Handwritten Lennon song auctioned
19 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
John Lennon's art goes on display
22 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Lennon stamps sell for 1,200
24 Sep 03  |  Entertainment

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