1957 Höfner Club 40

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Around the same time that John Lennon purchased his new 1959 Höfner Club 40, George Harrison managed to trade one of his guitars for a used Club 40. Lennon and Harrison had fallen in love with the little Höfner Club guitars the instant they first saw them.
Their Club 40 guitars were blonde (natural) finished single-cutaway, small hollow bodied guitars; with a spruce top; maple back and sides; black body binding; adjustable floating bridge; and a trapeze tailpiece. The solitary pickup was a single-coil black “bar” in the neck position. The short-scale 22-fret rosewood fingerboard joined the body at the 14th fret.
Harrison’s Club 40 was a 1957 model and had slightly different cosmetic features from Lennon’s 1959 guitar. Harrison’s model featured a horizontal headstock logo with three vertical dots; a badge on the tailpiece; and an Oval control panel with one Volume knob and one Tone knob.
The Höfner Club 40 was British distributor Selmer’s version of Höfner's 125 model, which was originally introduced in 1954. Other than the Selmer guitars having serial numbers, the two UK and the European models were identical. The Club 40 (and it’s sister Club 50) guitars would be used extensively throughout the British beat era of the late 1950's and early 1960's.
Harrison had traded his 1955 Höfner President to Ray Ennis, of the Liverpool band Swinging Blue Jeans for the 1957 Club 40. Ultimately, Harrison played the Club 40 for only a brief period in mid-late 1959. A few rare home photographs have emerged of his Club 40, posed alongside his other pre-fame guitars.
Harrison’s limited use of the Club 40 can likely be explained due to his attention shifting to another new guitar he acquired at the end of 1959. The new guitar was a 1958 Resonet Grazioso Futurama and it immediately became his main instrument. The Club 40 dropped out of sight.
There is no way to know for certain what happened to Harrison’s 1957 Club 40. However, in December 1965, some Star Club officials and others from Hamburg attended a Beatles Christmas show at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. They reportedly came away with a 1957 Club 40 signed by all four Beatles.
In early 1966, that guitar was awarded to The Faces, a band that had won the Star Club’s "Best Beat Band" contest. Frank Dostal, one of the band members, still has the guitar stashed away in a German bank vault. Beatles autograph experts contend that the signatures are not genuine and were most likely signed by Neil Aspinall.
The vintage 1957 Höfner Club 40 seen in our collection is identical to George Harrison’s guitar in every detail, including the original “D” rings to which the strap is hooked!59_club_40.html59_club_40.html55_president.htmlfuturama.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1shapeimage_4_link_2shapeimage_4_link_3
George Harrison and his mother enjoy a drink at home, with his guitars displayed on the sofa. His Höfner Club 40 Guitar can be seen at the left.

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