A guitar used by John Lennon is expected to fetch $1 million at auction.

The musical instrument - a Gretsch 6120 - was used by the late Beatles legend when the group recorded 'Paperback Writer' and he later handed it on to his cousin, David Birch, who is now putting it up for sale through TracksAuction.com.

David admits he made a ''cheeky'' request in asking his famous cousin for a guitar in November 1967 - 18 months after the group recorded the hit single at London's famous Abbey Road studios - because he wanted to form a band of his own.

He recalled: ''I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars.

''I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster lying in the studio, but John suggested the Gretsch and gave it to me.''

The auctioneers have described the musical instrument as ''one of the most significant'' of the 'Imagine' star's guitars to go on the market in the last 30 years.

Also up for sale are over 100 lots of Beatles memorabilia, including a signed copy of the 'Sgt. Pepper' album and a banjo played by Rod Davis in Lennon's original group, The Quarrymen.

Online bidding begins on November 14 and ends with a live auction at Le Meridien Hotel, London, on November 23.