Handwritten, autographed manuscript by the late John Lennon is shown ahead of its auction Friday in New York. ((Sotheby's Auction House/Associated Press) )

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to A Day in the Life sold at auction in New York on Friday for $1.2 million US.

The lyrics were the top-selling lot in a sale of rare books and papers that also included a 1908 edition of Anne of Green Gables.

Lennon's lyrics to the final song on Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band were estimated at $500,000 to $800,000 ahead of the sale by Sotheby's.

But a private collector bidding by phone escalated the price of the work.

The single sheet is dated Jan. 17, 1967, and has Lennon's writing in black felt marker and ballpoint pen of the first draft of the song, with amendments made later in capital letters.

At a 2005 British auction, a collector paid $1.25 million for the lyrics to the Beatle's All You Need is Love.

The L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables printed in Boston in 1908, sold for $25,000 US, at the upper range of Sotheby's estimate. It has eight plates with illustrations by M.A. and W.A.J. Claus.

The children's classic about the fiery-tempered redhead is set in Prince Edward Island and was an international bestseller. P.E.I.-born Montgomery went on to write a series of books about Anne and the fictional town of Avonlea, which she modeled on her home of Cavendish, P.E.I.

Friday's sale was not the highest price paid for an early copy of the book — in December 2009 a first edition sold for $30,000 US.

Friday's auction also saw the sale of:

  • A 1909 edition of Anne of Avonlea for $12,500.
  • A 1915 edition of Anne of the Island for $3,750.
  • A 1920 edition of Further Chronicles of Avonlea for $3,125.

A series of 40 letters and postcards, including sketches, from French artist René Magritte to the Belgian Surrealist poet Paul Colinet sold for $218,500.