George Harrison’s first sitar to sell on September 28

George Harrison bought his first sitar from a shop in Oxford Street, London in 1965.

Now, more than 50 years on, it’s set to auction in Nate D Sanders’ September 28 online sale.

George Harrison sitar

Harrison's first sitar was "a crummy one"

The instrument can be heard on Beatles track Norwegian Wood, which appears on classic 1965 album Rubber Soul.

Harrison made the decision to include its distinctive sound on the fly.  

He later recalled in the Beatles Anthology: ''I went and bought a sitar from a little shop at the top of Oxford Street called Indiacraft - it stocked little carvings, and incense.

“It was a real crummy-quality one, actually, but I bought it and mucked about with it a bit.

"Anyway, we were at the point where we'd recorded the Norwegian Wood backing track and it needed something.

“We would usually start looking through the cupboard to see if we could come up with something, a new sound, and I picked the sitar up - it was just lying around; I hadn't really figured out what to do with it. It was quite spontaneous: I found the notes that played the lick.

“It fitted and it worked.''

Harrison gave this sitar to a friend named George Drummond in Barbados in 1966. It’s accompanied by a letter of provenance from Harrison’s ex-wife, Pattie Boyd.

Harrison cultivated an enduring interest in Indian culture during the mid-1960s, culminating in his conversion to the Hare Krishna movement at the end of the decade.

A tape recording of a song he wrote in India in 1968 is set to sell at Omega Auctions later this month.

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about music memorabilia auctions.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock