George Harrison’s Futurama electric guitar, circa 1958. Estimate £200,000-300,000
The late 1950s Futurama guitar used by George Harrison during the Beatles’ legendary Hamburg tours, is to be offered at Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale in London on Wednesday 12 June. It has an estimate of £200,000-300,000.
This historically important guitar, which comes in its original case embellished with Hamburg stickers, has never been seen on the market before; it has impeccable provenance and is extremely well-documented.
Harrison bought the instrument at Hessy’s music shop in Liverpool in November 1959. He used it during the Beatles’ two lengthy club residencies in Hamburg in 1960 and 1961, and on numerous gigs throughout the 18 months he played it. He is, for example, seen playing it in pictures of the Beatles’ audition for Larry Parnes, the music impresario, and on the group’s tour of Scotland in 1960.
In 1964, George Harrison gave the guitar to Beat Instrumental Magazine to offer as a competition prize. The winner of the competition opted for a cash prize rather than the guitar, which remained with the magazine. The guitar is now being offered by a relative of the former editor.
Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia specialist, Claire Tole-Moir, said, “It is both rare and exciting to see a Beatles’ guitar of this nature come onto the market. George Harrison is one of the biggest names in Rock and Roll history, and we are privileged to be handling such a special guitar that dates from an early period in the Beatles’ history, when the band were learning their craft and developing their sound that was soon to sweep the world. It has been treasured for so many years and comes to auction for the very first time. I anticipate huge interest from collectors.”
Sale: Entertainment Memorabilia
Location: Montpelier Street. Knightsbridge, London SW7 1HH
Date: Wednesday 12 June at 12.00
Specialist: Claire Tole-Moir