It could well be the world's most unusual and exotic guitar - a beautifully carved life sized mermaid with tumbling hair, naked torso and scaled, curved tail.

Leaning back on her tail, her left hand off the fretboard across her abdomen, she seems to be singing a siren song.

And this one-off musical creation - The Mermaid - (right) is being sold by craftsman Andy Manson, who has made guitars for the stars of the rock firmament, including Mike Oldfield, Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, and Andy Summers of the Police.

Half the profits from the sale will go to a Midlands-based charity which helps overseas development.

The Mermaid can be bid for on the website, on which Mr Manson, a guitar maker for more than 30 years at his workshop in Crediton, Devon, explains how he created her over nearly three years.

The latest bid stands at £5,000 - and half of the final sum will be donated to the overseas development charity Harvest Help, based at Wellington, near Telford.

"As I stand to make a lot of money from her, I want her existence to benefit others not just myself. Naturally, I would love to see her go to a guitar player," said Mr Manson.