George Harrison’s Guitar He Used for Two Months Sells for $485k
George Harrison’s Guitar has sold for almost $500k at the Hard Rock Café in New York.
According to Julien’s Auctions, the Maton Mastersound MS500 electric guitar went for $490,000 to an undisclosed bidder.
They say that George Harrison borrowed the guitar from a British music store and played it on the stage several times in England and in Channel Islands on the summer of 1963.
The electric guitar was the two-day auction’s star item, amid hundreds of possessions once owned by rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest stars, which auctioneers hope will rake in millions.
Harrison borrowed the guitar while his was under repair and was photographed and filmed playing it at concerts.
‘It was played by Harrison in the Cavern Club in the early 60s,’ said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions., referring to a Liverpool nightclub that gave birth to the biggest band.
‘That is a really iconic piece, highly sought after.
The guitar was sold by a collector in Britain who had loaned it to the Beatles museum in Liverpool, where it became a ‘great draw,’ Nolan said.
‘Even the new owner may decide to lend it back to them.’
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The auction, which focused entirely on unique items from throughout music history, also featured a black sequined glove worn by Michael Jackson, a stage-worn tank top donned by Madonna and Elvis Presley’s marriage certificate and tour bus, but it was Harrison’s used guitar that sold for the highest bid at the auction.
Harrison played the Maton at nearly a dozen concerts during July and August 1963, including a hometown gig in Liverpool.
The Maton was eventually returned to Barratt’s and sold soon after to Dave Berry and the Cruisers guitarist Roy Barber.
After years of use, the Maton sat in a storage locker for two decades until Barber’s widow auctioned it off at Sotheby’s.
The Australian solid-body guitar features a flame maple natural finish top, a sunburst back, a mahogany neck with a bound rosewood fingerboard, a three-way pickup selector switch, two pickups, two volume knobs and finally two-tone knobs with an input jack on a black pickguard, fitted with a Bigsby bridge and Bigsby vibrato.
The instrument was loaned to Harrison by Barratt’s Music Store while his usual guitar underwent repairs, and was later bought by Roy Barber, guitarist with Dave Berry and the Cruisers.
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