An Australian-made electric guitar that George Harrison used for several months during 1963, including during the final show The Beatles played at Liverpool, U.K.’s famed Cavern Club, is going up for bid at a September 12 auction in Corsham, England.
The instrument, a 1963 Maton Mastersound MS-500, is expected to fetch between $390,000 and $520,000.
Harrison was given the Maton Mastersound to use as a loner in May ’63 by the owner of Barratts guitar shop in Manchester, U.K., when he brought his Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar to be repaired there. Although his Gretsch was returned the same day, George kept the Maton for a while, playing at U.K. concerts in Margate, Guernsey and Liverpool, including the Cavern Club gig.
After Harrison returned the instrument, it was acquired by guitarist Roy Barber of Dave Berry and the Cruisers, best known for the 1964 U.K. hit “The Crying Game.” After Barber passed away, his widow auctioned off the guitar in 2002. The Maton most recently changed hands in 2015, when it was sold by Julien’s Auctions in New York City for $485,000.
The guitar is currently being offered by the Gardiner Houlgate auction house, and the winning bidder will also receive an original postcard with a photo of Harrison holding the Maton, and letters of authenticity from two of Barber’s former band mates.
According to BBC News, Gardiner Houlgate auctioneer Luke Hobbs say the Maton “is something very special — a direct link to the early days of Beatlemania,” adding, “We’re expecting interest from right around the world.”
Other items available at the sale include sunglasses made for Harrison and guitars owned by Yes‘ Steve Howe and late Bee Gee Maurice Gibb.
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