DescriptionA Bjärton 12-String Acoustic Guitar Owned By Klaus Voormann and Ringo Starr, And Played by John Lennon (Sweden, 1971) Uwe Blaschke was well-known throughout his native Germany and Europe as a Beatles expert and collector. He received this storied-provenance guitar directly from the Beatles' longtime friend and associate, the artist and musician Klaus Voormann - who knew of Blaschke's Beatles collection and wished for the guitar to be a part of it. It is a lovely Bjärton 12-string acoustic, model year 1972, yet appearing in Bjärton's 1971 product catalogue and manufactured that year.
In the early 1970s Voorman was living near Ringo in England and would visit him at his home frequently, the two of them sometimes playing and composing music in Ringo's home studio. The Bjärton guitar was owned by Ringo at the time and was often a part of these sessions. Voormann recalls that John Lennon also played the Bjärton on occasional visits he would make to Ringo's home, socializing and making music with his old friends and colleagues. As Voormann greatly admired the guitar, Ringo happily gifted it to him at some point in the 1970s. It remained in Voorman's collection until the late 1990s, when, now living back in his native Germany and aware of Uwe Blaschke's deep admiration of the Beatles and expansive collection, Voormann proudly gave the Bjärton to Blaschke. It was later exhibited at Beatlemania Hamburg.
Another Beatle insider likely had his hands on the guitar -- a handwritten tag in the guitar case, dated November 1972, gives instruction for the Bjärton to be sent to Apple in London, to the attention of the Beatles longtime friend, road manager, and Apple employee Mal Evans.
Manufactured in 1971 by Bjärton, a small Swedish stringed instrument company that began producing guitars in 1952, this wonderful J-12 model 12-string has the deluxe chrome tailpiece more commonly found on the BJ-Luxe models (the guitar's label, with manufacturing information and serial number, has come loose, but is included). The guitar has a natural spruce top, mahogany back and sides, a single-bound top with multi-line purfling, and a single-bound back, with a mahogany bolt-on neck. The guitar has a single-bound rosewood fingerboard with bass side dot inlays, and a rosewood bridge. The tailpiece with a great cast-acrylic "Made in Sweden" coat-of-arms inset (there is some very light oxidation at the top of the tailpiece). The tuners are in great shape, and the satin finish has remained in amazing condition. There has been some very light professional restoration done to repair two very small cracks on the side, where the neck attaches to the body; otherwise the guitar is in Excellent condition, with the only real signs of wear being a few small dings in the top of the headstock. The original orange-lined case is included. There is a 1.5" x 1" tear in the plastic covering on the top edge of the case, 8" of the covering has come loose from a top edge, and the seams are beginning to show signs of age. All of the latches work and an Allen wrench, for the neck bolt, is included. Of interest are the two stickers affixed to the outside of the case, both featuring Klaus Voormann's name and Hamburg address. As well as having a rock royalty background, and impeccable provenance, this is simply a beautiful guitar. From The Uwe Blaschke Beatles Collection.
The guitar is being sold with a certificate signed and dated in 2015 by Klaus Voormann, detailing the provenance of the Bjärton. It reads: "In the early 70's I often went to visit with Ringo. We were living in Hampstead real close to one another. I often went down the hill to Ringo's house. We went up into his little home-studio under the roof recording, messing around and sometimes even writing a song or two using that lovely 12 string guitar. I loved the sound of the instrument so much that eventualy Ringo gave me this Bjardon [sic] 12 string guitar as a present. I remember John tinkeling on this 12 string guitar whenever he was coming by for a visit. The guitar remained with me for many years. In the late 1990s I gave the Bjarton to Uwe Blaschke, for inclusion in his collection of Beatles items." (signed) Klaus Voormann
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