What a gem! Maton made some vastly under-appreciated electric guitars in the past, and this is definitely one of them.
It is a Sapphire Deluxe (model number 302/6) dating from August 1971, in the original Cherry finish (these were offered in Sunburst or Cherry). It has a 24 3/4 inch scale length, and the slickest of necks. Action can be dropped stupidly low, and the neck just copes with it. Vintage electric Matons have this quality down pat better than any other guitar I've ever encountered, and I've encountered many!
I had no preconceptions about the guitar, but after a full service, including clock oil on the tremolo bearings (Japanese-made Bigsby copy?) and original tuners, and a new Bigsby arm, I plugged the guitar into my favourite amp, and played, and played and played! I seriously like this guitar!
The body is semi-solid, but not with the full block through the body as a Gibson ES-335 has. There seems to be a solid block under the pickups, and again under theTremolo tailpiece, and I have seen photographs of this model with a stop tailpiece factory-fitted which requires a solid block to mount into. So the guitar is not a fully hollow guitar like the Apollo and various other lower-end thinline archtop electrics Maton had in their model line, but a semi-solid. Clearly (and this is borne out in the way the guitar plays and sounds as well as the way it looks!) this was a guitar aimed at the Gibson ES-335/345/355 market.
The body is 15" across the lower bout, and is a comfortable 1 1/2" thick.
This vintage Maton is extremely original. It has a replaced tremolo arm (with a genuine Bigsby item), but the tuners, finish, bridge, pickups, knobs, electrics are all original. It comes in a new plush-lined hardshell archtop case (see image below).
These are extremely rare guitars - only 349 were ever made (with serial numbers ranging from 328 to 733; this one is serial 612) - between 1968 and 1974.