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Historic George Harrison guitar sells for £347,000

(Image credit: Gardiner Houlgate)

The guitar George Harrison played at the Beatles’ last ever appearance at the Cavern Club in 1963 has been sold for £347,000.

The Australian-made Maton Master Sound MS-500 was part of the UK’s biggest ever guitar auction at Gardiner Houlgate Auctions in Corsham, Wiltshire. And it was snapped up by an unnamed overseas private collector over the phone. 

Gardiner Houlgate auctioneer Luke Hobbs says: “I’m delighted with the way things went. To have been able to handle and care for a guitar as famous as George Harrison’s and then sell it for a good price is a real honour.

“Interest in the sale was very high. It’s been a record auction in every way."

Houlgate adds: “The George Harrison guitar attracted lots of international attention with most of the major collectors bidding over the phone. Bids came slowly at first, but then the pace really picked up. 

“When the hammer came down, there was a round of applause in the auction room.”

The guitar was loaned to Harrison by Manchester repair shop Barratts when his regular instrument was being repaired. Harrison used it at a series of Beatles’ shows – and played it at their final appearance at the famous Liverpool club on August 3, 1963. 

Among other highlights from the sale was Bee Gee Barry Gibb’s custom-made 1968 Gibson EBS-1250 double-neck, which fetched £8,680, and a rare 1933 Selmer Maccaferri Orchestra acoustic guitar which sold for £12,000.

(Image credit: Gardiner Houlgate)