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The Insider's Diary

George Harrison’s guitar hits top note at New York auction

Posted by: Sonali Velinker Kamat on May 27, 2015

What does it say about Madonna and Elvis that a guitar used by George Harrison sold for the highest bid at a recent auction in New York that also featured a top worn by the ‘Queen of Pop’ and significant Presley memorabilia? Dwell on that while The LUXE reminds collectors that this is not the first time an instrument belonging to the Beatles has exceeded expectations at an auction.

At a Julien’s Auction last year, Harrison’s 1962 Rickenbacker 425 sold for $657,000 — exceeding its $600,000 estimate. The instrument making headlines this year was a Maton Mastersound guitar, used during the Beatles’ live performances in the summer of 1963. The Maton — lent to Harrison by Barratt’s Music Store while his legendary Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar was being repaired — was later sold to Dave Berry and the Cruisers guitarist Roy Barber; after Harrison returned it to the store. It was Roy Barber’s widow who pulled it out of storage and auctioned it off at Sotheby’s over a decade ago, making this the second time the now-famous Maton has been available for public purchase.

With the winning bid standing at $485,000 (the bidder remained undisclosed), Harrison’s Maton outdid a black sequinned glove worn by Michael Jackson, a stage-worn tank top donned by Madonna (which sold for $25,000) and Elvis Presley’s marriage certificate and tour bus.