An Australian-made Maton Master Sound MS-500, it will be offered at the Gardiner Houlgate in Corsham on September 12. It is just one of more than 500 guitars and related items that will be sold alongside rock ’n’ roll memorabilia, sound equipment and guitar accessories, including a pair of Harrison’s sunglasses.
The guitar is being sold by a UK private collector. The Maton was played by Harrison during the summer of 1963.
Instrument repair shop Barretts of Manchester loaned Harrison the Maton while his regular guitar was repaired. Harrison was so taken with the Maton he continued to use it for a series of performances and was photographed with it at The Beatles’ final appearance at the Cavern Club on August 3, 1963.
From 1961-63 The Beatles played 292 performances at the Cavern Club but eventually outgrew its capacity. The club was demolished in the early 1970s but in July this year, Paul McCartney played a secret gig at a replica of the iconic venue in Liverpool.
After Harrison eventually returned the Maton guitar to Barretts, it was bought by Roy Barber, the guitarist with Dave Berry and the Cruisers, who went to have the hits with Memphis, Tennessee and The Crying Game.
The guitar remained in storage for several decades, but after Barber’s death in 2000, it was exhibited at The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool and auctioned in New York in 2015 for $485,000.
Luke Hobbs, the Gardiner Houlgate auctioneer who will sell the guitar, said: “We’re expecting interest from right around the world. It’s very rare for one of George Harrison’s guitars to come up for auction. In this case we have excellent provenance including letters and photographs. The guitar is also documented in books about the Beatles.”
A pair of customised Ray-Ban sunglasses from the late 1970s–early '80s made especially for Harrison, who died in 2001, and were worn by him, are expected to fetch over £3000.