President (Selmer) Guitars

1957 Hofner President (Selmer)

Color: Brunette, Rating: 9.25, Sold (ID# 01943)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113


Exactly the Same Model as Used by George Harrison and Buddy Holly


1957 Hofner President (Selmer).


This near mint 16 1/4-inch-wide and 3 1/3 inch deep guitar weighs just 4.70 lbs. Two-piece book-matched flamed maple back and sides. Two-piece carved spruce top with two single-bound 'f' sound holes and "Höfner" decal in gold with black outline on bass-horn. The top and the back have six-ply, white over black binding. Three-piece maple neck with two mahogany center-strips and a nut width of just over 1 11/16 inches and a huge, very thick profile. Single-bound 'slab' rosewood fretboard with 'zero' and 22 original jumbo frets and inlaid 'triple' pearl dot position markers. Single-bound, walnut-faced headstock with inlaid mother-of-pearl vine flower design. Individual open-back waverley tuners with round edge rectangular bone buttons. Specific-shaped, single-layer tortoiseshell pickguard with etched outline. Bone saddle on height-adjustable ebony base and Höfner 'Compensator' tailpiece engraved with "Hofner / Compensator / Regd. 851997" stamped on the lower edge. This is the same exact model as used by George Harrison and buddy Holly with no "Hofner" designation on the face of the headstock and a gold with black outline  "Höfner" decal on the bass horn. The underside of the treble 'f' hole has the date "11/4.57" written in pencil.
Inside the bass sound-hole is the Höfner rectangular white label with Model "President" and [serial] No. "2894" written in blue ink. Minimal separation of binding on treble-side of top and back. Apart from a few very small and insignificant surface marks, this spectacular guitar is in near mint (9.25) condition. The original frets have been 'dressed' and this amazing instrument has wonderful sound and perfect playability with very low action. Housed in the Original Höfner four-latch, shaped tan tweed hardshell case with green felt lining (8.50) (handle replaced).

"With Harrison in The Quarry Men the group now included three members of the future Beatles. Harrison's guitar was a Höfner President he'd acquired before joining… Höfner guitars appeared in the UK in 1953, thanks to importer Selmer who commissioned acoustic archtop models made specifically to their requirements, with UK-only model names such as Golden Hofner, Committee, President and Senator… Harrison's sunburst acoustic President was one of the better models in the Höfner line, and cost 32 guineas (£33.60, or $90 then; around £475 or $670 in today's money). Harrison said later, "I got what they call a cello-style, f-hole, single-cutaway called a Höfner, which is like the German version of a Gibson. I got a pickup and stuck it on." Up to this point The Quarry Men had used only acoustic instruments, with no other amplification other than the simple microphones used for singing at gigs. About the time Harrison joined, the group began to play around with amplifying their instruments. John Lowe recalls, "They were trying to experiment with pickups that you could buy and stick on the guitar. These units had two prongs that you would put down the neck and bolt in place. You got a sort of electric sound -- otherwise you just wouldn't be heard. If you listen to The Quarry Men recordings [on Anthology 1] of 'In Spite Of All The Danger' and 'That'll Be The Day' the guitars sound amplified, not acoustic… The Quarry Men now consisted of Lennon on his Gallotone Champion guitar, McCartney on his Zenith, Harrison on his Höfner President, Hanton on his Broadway drum set, and John 'Duff' Lowe on Piano." (And Babiuk. Beatles Gear - All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio, pp. 18-20). See the detailed photograph of an identical guitar on pp. 18/19.

George later traded his Hofner President with Ray Ennis of The Swinging Blue Jeans for an electric Club 40  model.

Buddy Holly also played exactly the same model (serial # 2559) on his 1958 UK tour. That guitar is now on permanent display in Buddy's home town of Lubbock, Texas.

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