The Maton Mastersound MS-500 played by George Harrison at the Beatles’ final performance at Liverpool’s Cavern Club has sold at auction for £347,000, or approximately $456,147. The guitar was sold through the Gardiner Houlgate auction house on September 13, with the winning bid coming by phone from an overseas private collector.
Harrison played the MS-500 in the summer 1963 while his standard guitar at the time, a Gretsch Country Gentleman, was under repair. According to Gardiner Houlgate, Harrison played the Maton in concert at several Beatles dates, including July 8-13 at the Winter Gardens, August 2 at the Grafton Rooms and August 3 at the Cavern Club, the band’s last performance at the iconic venue.
Harrison’s Maton Mastersound MS-500 features a natural flame maple finish, sunburst maple back, bound Australian black bean 22 fret fingerboard, black scratchplate, two pickups, two volume and two tone knobs, three-way selector switch and Bigsby vibrato.
Remarked Gardiner Houlgate auctioneer Luke Hobbs: “This guitar is something very special—a direct link to the early days of Beatlemania and those era-defining gigs at The Cavern Club. Just touching it makes your fingers tingle.”
Post-auction, Hobbs said: “I’m delighted with the way things went. To have been able to handle and care for a guitar as famous as George Harrison’s and then sell it for a good price is a real honor.”