LIVERPOOL, England – Julien’s Auctions held its highly anticipated Music Icons: The Beatles in Liverpool auction event at The Beatles Story Thursday, as nearly 300 pieces of iconic Beatles memorabilia went under the hammer. John Lennon’s personal and signed Yesterday and Today album prototype from 1966 sold for £180,000 ($234,400), a record-breaking price for a ‘butcher’ album. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
It was the first ever Julien’s auction to take place in the Fab Four’s hometown of Liverpool.
Yesterday and Today albums bearing the original ‘butcher’ cover are already highly collectible and sought after by Beatles enthusiasts around the world, added to the fact this record was owned by John Lennon, signed by him as well as Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr makes it one of the rarest records in the world. The album was displayed on the wall of John’s Dakota apartment in New York City before being signed and given to Beatles fan Dave Morrell, in a trade to obtain the reel-to-reel recording of the Yellow Matter Custard song that Morrell owned. The back of the cover of the album features an original drawing by Lennon of a man holding a shovel with his dog next to him.
Other highlights of the sale included an interior door to John Lennon and Ringo Starr’s Tittenhurst Park home which sold for £5,760 ($7,500); a black pen-on- paper cartoon drawing by John Lennon depicting a man crawling out of a box sold for £12,800 ($16,700); a baseball signed by all four Beatles at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, during their final live performance sold for £57,600 ($75,000); a poster from Liverpool Airport announcing the “Visit of The Beatles” on July 10, 1964 signed by all four Beatles sold for £32,000 ($41,700); Brian Epstein’s black Samsonite briefcase used by the band’s manager during their 1966 tour of the Far East and their U.S. tour of the same year sold for £3,520 ($4,600); an acoustic guitar with custom decoration signed by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Buddy Holly and more sold for £41,600 ($54,200); and a Paul McCartney signed Russian balalaika sold for £8,960 ($11,700).
At previous events the internationally renowned Julien’s Auctions has broken world records with the sale of Beatles memorabilia including John Lennon’s acoustic guitar which sold for a record $2.4 million, Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drum kit which sold for a record $2.2 million, the Ludwig Beatles Ed Sullivan Show drumhead which sold for a record price of $2.1 million and the Beatles White Album owned by Ringo Starr that sold for $790,000.
The auction event was the first day of a two-day Beatles memorabilia spectacular taking place at the Beatles Story, in partnership with Julien’s Auctions.