UPDATE: Harrison’s guitar sold for $657,000 at auction Saturday night to an anonymous bidder.
An electric guitar owned and played in the studio by George Harrison is headed to auction. The Beatle’s 1962 Rickenbacker 425 will be up for grabs on May 17th at Manhattan’s Hard Rock Cafe, where it’s estimated to fetch up to $600,000.
According to the Julien’s Auctions website, Harrison purchased the guitar in 1963 at Fenton’s Music store in Mount Vernon, Illinois, during a two-week trip to visit his sister, Louise. While the Rickenbacker 425 isn’t as easily recognizable as some of his other guitars (including his various Gretsch models, 12-string Rickenbacker or Fender Telecaster), Harrison did use the axe onstage during the Beatles‘ first appearance on the TV show Ready Steady Go! (October 1963) and on Thank Your Lucky Stars (December 1963). He also played the guitar on the band’s week-long tour of Sweden and during Abbey Road sessions for “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (which also featured the recording of “This Boy.”)
The auction will also feature a rare copy of Beatles ’65 signed by each of the Fab Four; it’s expected to bring up to $300,000. According to The Associated Press, the auction will also feature more rock memorabilia, including Jimi Hendrix‘s Sears Silvertone electric guitar, which is estimated to sell for $100,000.
Likely due in part to the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania, a whole slew of Fab Four goodies has hit the auction block this year, including a chunk of signed backdrop wall from the Ed Sullivan Theater, George Harrison’s and Ringo Starr’s jackets from the Help! film, and a copy of Meet the Beatles autographed by all four Beatles. Later this month, a massive selection of John Lennon’s manuscripts and drawings will be up for bid in New York City.