George Harrison's 1963 Guitar Sells for $485,000 at Auction - Rolling Stone
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George Harrison’s 1963 Maton Guitar Sells for $485,000 at Auction

Elvis Presley’s marriage license and tour bus also score high bids at Julien’s Auctions’ music showcase


George Harrison playing his Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar in 1963. A guitar used by Harrison in the summer of 1963 while this guitar was being repaired sold for $485,000 at auction.

Terry O'Neill/Iconic Images

George Harrison‘s Maton Mastersound guitar, used during the Beatles’ live performances in the summer of 1963, sold for $485,000 at Julien’s Auctions Friday. 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, which took place at New York’s Hard Rock Café.

According to Julien’s, the Maton guitar was lent to Harrison by Barratt’s Music Store while the Beatle’s legendary Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar was being repaired. 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. Thirteen years later, Harrison’s guitar was back on the auction block, where it was estimated to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000.


At a Julien’s Auction exactly a year ago, Harrison’s 1962 Rickenbacker 425 sold for $657,000, exceeding its $600,000 estimate. That instrument was used when the Beatles’ made their first appearance on the TV show Ready Steady Go! (October 1963) and on Thank Your Lucky Stars (December 1963). The guitar can also be heard on the Beatles’ recording of “This Boy.”

Julien’s latest auction boasted hundreds of unique items, from Carlos Santana guitars and Trent Reznor’s leather shorts and leggings to Britney Spears’ childhood leotard and the bra she wore in the “Overprotected” video. An American flag tank top Madonna wore during her 2001 Drowned World trek sold for $25,600, while Jackson’s black sequined glove from the HIStory era hit a high bid of $46,875.

Presley’s 1967 marriage license to Priscilla Presley (née Beaulieu) sold for over $41,000 but the biggest item from Presley, both literally and bid-wise, was the King’s 1976 MCI Crusader tour bus with the “Takin’ Care of Business” motto and logo. That 40-foot vehicle sold for $263,000.


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