George Harrison’s first electric guitar, the Hofner Club 40, up for sale

George Harrison’s first electric guitar, a Hofner Club 40 used during The Beatles’ early years, has gone up for auction.

The guitar was acquired by Harrison in 1959 and played at The Quarrymen gigs and The Beatles’ early shows at The Casbah in Liverpool, before being offered up as a prize for a competition at Hamburg’s Star Club in 1966.

Frank Dostal, of ’60s German band Faces, won the guitar and kept it ever since, but following his passing last year, his widow Mary Dostal (of fellow Liverpool band The Liverbirds) offered the model to Julien’s Auctions for sale.

Although the guitar looks to be signed by all four members of The Beatles, the signatures are actually that of the band's road manager, Neil Aspinall, who often signed the group's names on souvenirs and promo items at the time.

The guitar itself is a single-cutaway hollowbody with a spruce top, maple back, and sides in a natural blond finish with black binding.

It features a short scale length, as well as a Hofner trapeze ‘badge’ style tailpiece, and one single-coil ‘bar’ pickupand an oval style control panel with volume and tone ‘teacup’ style knobs. The back of the headstock is stamped with the serial number 244.

The guitar is expected to fetch $200,000-$300,000 when it sells on 19 May as part of Julien’s Auctions’ Music Icons lot.

Also among the treasure up for sale in Music Icons is one of only two Kurt Cobain Jag-Stang prototypes.

Although this may be Harrison's first ever electric guitar, his first ever guitar, an anonymous nylon-string, went up for auction last year.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

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