(Reuters) - A Gretsch guitar that John Lennon played for the recording of the Beatles' hit song "Paperback Writer" and then gave to his cousin is expected to fetch up to $1 million (630,000 GBP) at auction in Britain this week.
Auction house TracksAuction.com said the Gretsch 6120 instrument was one of the most significant Lennon guitars to come on the market in the last 30 years.
Beatles Lennon Guitar
Lennon 'Paperback Writer' guitar tops auction offerings
The Beatles, from left, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison, are shown in this November 1963 photo. (AP Photo)
LONDON - 16th JUNE: John Lennon (1940-1980) from The Beatles performs 'Rain' and 'Paperback Writer' on BBC TV show 'Top Of The Pops' in London on 16th June 1966. (Photo by Mark and Colleen Hayward/Redferns)
The Beatles, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and John Lennon, have their hair combed by stylists on the set of their first movie production, "A Hard Day's Night," at Twickenham Film Studios in Middlesex, outside London, England, on March 12, 1964. The hair stylists, who have parts in the film, are, from left, Patti Boyd, 19, Tina Williams, 17, Pru Bury, 22, and Susan Whitman, 17. (AP Photo)
n this Feb. 9, 1964 file photo, The Beatles perform on the CBS "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York. Ringo Starr plays drums and playing guitars from left are Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon. An estimated 73 million Americans tuned in, the largest ever for a TV show at the time, or three times the amount of people who watched the latest "American Idol" finale, according to the Nielsen Co. (AP Photo, file)
In this Feb. 9, 1964 picture, The Beatles perform at the "Ed Sullivan Show," in New York. It was the band's first American appearance, and influenced other musicians future careers. Front row from left; Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon. Drummer Ringo Starr is at rear. Nearly 40 years after breaking up, The Beatles are still breaking records for album sales. EMI Group PLC says consumers in North America, Japan and the U.K. bought more than 2.25 million copies of the Fab Four's re-mastered albums in the first five days after their Sept. 9, 2009 release. (AP Photo)
The Beatles Ringo Starr plays drums on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. (AP Photo)
In this Feb. 9, 1964. file photo Paul McCartney, right, shows his bass guitar to Ed Sullivan before the Beatles' live television appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in New York along with John Lennon, center, and Ringo Starr, behind McCartney, and Beatles manage Brian Epstein, behind Sullivan. McCartney turned 70 Monday June 18, 2012. (AP Photo)
The Beatles, Britain's top rock band, relax in London over tea in 1963. The group from left: John Lennon, Paul McCartney; George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The group is sporting similar thatch haircuts with bangs to the edge of their eyebrows. No other information available with photo. (AP Photo)
The Beatles, from left, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison, are shown in a studio rehearsing in a studio, in London, England, Oct. 1, 1963. (AP Photo)
The British rock and roll group The Beatles are seen during their first U.S. tour in 1964. The band members, from left to right, are George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. (AP Photo)
In this file picture taken on )ctober 26, 1965 Beatles fans try to break through a police line at Buckingham Palace in London where the group were due to receive the Member of the British Empire (MBE) decoration from the Queen. The Beatles' debut tune that launched Britain into the '60s and helped to ignite a worldwide obsession for the four-man British rock band celebrates its 50th anniversary on October 5, 2012. Even though it only peaked at no. 17 on the British charts, the single "Love Me Do" was the rock group's first hit record when released in October 1962. AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read -/AFP/GettyImages)
This February 11, 1964 photo provided by Christie's auction house, from a collection of photos of The Beatles shot by photographer Mike Mitchell at the Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C., shows Paul McCartney, left, and John Lennon during group's first US concert, two days after their Ed Sullivan appearance. The concert photos, taken when the photographer was just 18 years old, will be auctioned by Christie's in their sale "The Beatles Illuminated: The Discovered Works of Mike Mitchell," in New York on July 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Christie's, Mike Mitchell)
The Beatles pose together before their performance in a TV studio in London, England, in 1966. (AP Photo)
Liverpudlian pop group The Beatles on Granada TV's Late Scene Extra television show filmed in Manchester, England on November 25, 1963. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Crying Beatle fans at “Ernst-Merck-Halle” during the performance of the Beatles in Hamburg, Germany on June 26, 1964. “I do like beat music and the Beatles themselves much more”. (AP Photo/Ducklau)
In this Feb. 18, 1964, file photo, The Beatles, from left, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison, take a fake blow from Cassius Clay, who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali, while visiting the heavyweight contender at his training camp in Miami Beach, Fla. Ali turns 70 on Jan. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/File)
John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles in Studio 2 at Abbey Road in London recording the single 'She Loves You', 1st July 1963. Lennon plays a Gibson J160E acoustic guitar and McCartney a Hofner 500/1 violin bass. (Photo by Terry O'Neill/Getty Images)
1st February 1968: Beatle Paul McCartney gives the thumbs up during production of the new Beatles film, a feature length cartoon called 'Yellow Submarine'. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)
A fan of British pop group The Beatles holds vintage record album Beatles for Sale in a record shop in Stuttgart, Germany on Dec. 10, 1980. A special stand with portraits of the four members of the group and all available records was erected this morning in memory of John Lennon who was killed in New York City. (AP Photo/Thomas Meyer)
Ringo Starr In A Garden Listening To A Hit Song During Sixties, (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 10: Allen Livingston, President of Capital Records presents the Beatles with Gold Record at the Hotel Plaza. (Photo by Paul DeMaria/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
The Beatles, from left,George Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr, perform on stage in London, England, Oct. 1, 1963. (AP Photo)
Teenage reactions to pop group The Beatles during their performance in Washington DC, America, on February 11, 1964. (Photo by Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
The Beatles rehearse for that night's Royal Variety Performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre, 4th November 1963. The Queen Mother will attend. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The Beatles John Lennon, left, Paul McCartney, center background, Ringo Starr, second from right, and George Harrison, right, join the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, center, as they arrive by train at Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom, to participate in a weekend of meditation in this file photo dated Aug. 26, 1967. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian guru to the Beatles and millions of meditators, died late Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008 at his home in the Dutch town of Vlodrop, a spokesman said. The Maharishi was believed to be 91. (AP Photo, File)
The Beatles are seen backstage during a break in rehearsal for the live broadcast of their new song "All You Need Is Love" on the "Our World" program at EMI studios in London, June 1967. From left: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. (AP Photo)
June 1967: The Beatles at the EMI studios in Abbey Road, as they prepare for 'Our World', a world-wide live television show broadcasting to 24 countries with a potential audience of 400 million. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
This undated image provided by Heritage Auctions shows what is described as a “pristine” copy of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album autographed by all four members of the band, that is up for auction. A statement from Dallas-based Heritage Auctions says the bidding for the album has passed $110,000 and could surpass $150,000 by the time bidding is closed on March 30. (AP Photo/Heritage Auctions)
The Beatles rehearse for their forthcoming television show at Wembley Studios, London, April 1964. Ringo Starr is costumed as Sir Francis Drake, with his bandmates as Heralds. From left, John Lennon, Ringo, George Harrison, Paul McCartney. (AP Photo)
UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 20: Photo of BEATLES and Paul McCARTNEY and John LENNON and Ringo STARR; L-R. Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison - posed, group shot at Press call for Sgt Pepper Album launch (Photo by Cummings Archives/Redferns)
The Beatles relax in a hotel room in Paris, 16th January 1964. From left to right, John Lennon (1940 - 1980), George Harrison (1943 - 2001), band manager Brian Epstein (1934 - 1967), Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. (Photo by Harry Benson/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney performs during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London.. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CAMERON SPENCER (Photo credit should read Cameron Spencer/AFP/GettyImages)
Former Beatles' singer Sir Paul McCartney gives a thumb up after being awarded by French president as officer of the "Legion d'Honneur" (Legion of honour), the French hightest award on September 8, 2012 at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris. AFP PHOTO / POOL PHILIPPE WOJAZER (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/GettyImages)
British musician, former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr performs live during his concert at the Congress Center on June 29, 2011in Prague, Czech Republic.(Photo by Tomas Krist/isifa/Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
"It's come directly from John Lennon's cousin, who was given it by John Lennon in 1967 and he's had it ever since, so for collectors of Beatles memorabilia to have a provenance like that is exceptional," the auction house said.
Lennon gave the guitar to his cousin David Birch a year after the hit single was produced at London's Abbey Road studio.
Birch, who grew up with Lennon in Liverpool, said he had received the instrument after asking his older cousin if he had a guitar he no longer wanted.
"I was just cheeky enough to ask him for a guitar and he gave me the Gretsch and of course I was very pleased, simple as that, really. Sounds a bit cheeky but it didn't seem cheeky at the time," Birch, 66, told Reuters.
Asked why he had decided to sell the guitar after so long, Birch said: "Well, I'm not getting any younger, I've had it 47 years. And it was just in the bedroom, you know, and I used to pick it up every now and then and play around with it."
After leaving the Gretsch factory in New York, the guitar has had only two documented owners - Lennon and Birch.
This week's auction of rock and pop memorabilia also includes a copy of the LP "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" signed by all four Beatles in red ballpoint pen. It is expected to sell for up to 150,000 pounds ($240,000).
Also for sale are three school detention sheets relating to Lennon retrieved from a clear-out of a room at Liverpool's Quarry Bank High School in the 1970s.
Lennon attended the school between 1952 and 1957 and one of the sheets shows he received a detention for "singing at the top of (his) voice in the corridor". They are each expected to sell for up to 6,000 GBP each.