Paul McCartney’s first acoustic guitar was sold at an auction for 330,000 pounds ($614,000) yesterday.

The guitar used by the former Beatle was bought by Craig Jackson at an auction at the Abbey Road Studios late Friday.

"This is such an important piece of rock history, and I am an extremely happy man tonight," Jackson said in a statement. "Without this guitar The Beatles may never have existed, and it is a fantastic acquisition."

A spokesman for the auction house Cooper Owen said the auction had attracted bidders from Europe, the U.S. and Russia. He had expected the instrument to fetch around 100,000 pounds.

McCartney learned to play his first chords on the guitar which belonged to his friend Ian James. James sold the guitar to help fund his retirement and the deal included a letter from the former Beatle confirming the guitar was authentic.

Jackson heads an auction company specializing in collector cars, based in Arizona.