The guitar’s previous owner was former session musician Ray Russell, who revealed that he was given it because he could play it better than Harrison. The guitar itself is a fretless model, made by Bartell’s of California in the 1960s. made the prototype instrument in the 1960s. Proof of the guitar’s authenticity came in the form of a photograph shown to the audience by the guitar’s owner, showing George Harrison and the guitar.
The sale price falls slightly short of the estimate given by antiques expert Jon Baddeley, who valued it between £300,000 and £400,000. He said at the time: “I think in 25 years it’s by far the most expensive thing I’ve ever seen. You know to a guitar collector it’s initially a very rare guitar. Then to somebody who’s a Beatles fan, to own a guitar that was once owned by both John Lennon and George Harrison, can you get a better history? Two of the most important rock stars of the 20th century.”
Despite this, the guitar still fetched almost a quarter of a million pounds at auction – no small fee for any instrument. It was sold by auction house Bonhams – find out more with the lot listing here.
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