George Harrison’s Cavern Club Guitar Could Sell for $500,000
The guitar played by George Harrison during the Beatles’ final appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool is expected to sell for as much as $500,000 at auction in September, sales agents Gardiner Houlgate said.
Harrison took possession of this Maton Mastersound MS-500 after sending in his Gretsch Country Gentleman for repairs at Barratts in Manchester; the owner lent him the Australian guitar as a stand-in. After the Gretch was returned, Harrison decided to keep the Maton too, and used it on a number of occasions – including at the last Cavern show on Aug. 3, 1963.
“After the Maton was returned to Barratts, Dave Berry and the Cruisers guitarist Roy Barber swapped it for his Fender Stratocaster,” the auctioneers said in a statement. “He was told that the guitar was the Maton used by Harrison. Barber used the guitar for several years, later putting it into storage. After Roy Barber’s death, his widow Val auctioned the guitar. The guitar has since been exhibited at the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool from 2014–2018. The guitar is featured in Andy Babuik’s book, Beatles Gear: All The Fab Four’s Instruments, from Stage to Studio.”
The Maton previously changed hands in 2015 when it sold for $485,000, leading to this new guide price. The current lot includes a postcard showing Harrison with the guitar, along with letters of authenticity from two of Barber’s bandmates. The auction, which takes place on Sept. 12-13, also features a Pink Floyd amplifier, and guitars owned by Steve Howe and Maurice Gibb.
This latest auction follows the sale of Harrison's first electric guitar in May, which went for $430,000 after an estimate of $300,000.
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