1963 Maton Mastersound MS-500 electric guitar used at The Beatles’ final appearance at the Cavern Club by George Harrison will be auctioned during Gardiner Houlgate’s next guitar sale in September, the UK auction house has announced. The guitar, which was made in Australia, has a natural flame maple finish with a sunburst maple back, a bound Back Bean 22-fret fingerboard, a black scratchplate, two pickups, two volume and two tone knobs, a three-way selector switch and a Bigsby vibrato.
According to the auction house, Harrison borrowed the guitar from Barratts Music, a guitar shop in Manchester, while his Gretsch Country Gentlemen guitar was being repaired. Harrison continued to use the guitar even after his Gretsch came back from the shop, playing it at several gigs in July and August that year, including on Aug. 3, 1963, when The Beatles made their last appearance at the Liverpool venue.
After the guitar was returned to Barratts, Roy Barber, guitarist with Dave Berry and the Cruisers swapped his Fender Stratocaster for the Maton. And even though he was aware it had once been used by Harrison, Barber continued to play it for several years before finally putting it in storage. It has been auctioned previously, most recently by Julien’s in 2015 when it sold for $485,000. The instrument comes with a letter of authenticity and a picture of Harrison holding the guitar.