Beatles first recording contract tops $90,000 in New York



2015-09-23 08:45:39

The first ever recording contract signed by The Beatles topped the most recent Heritage Entertainment Memorabilia sale in New York.

The original signed contract was part of the collection of Uwe Blaschke, a German graphic designer who established a Beatles museum in Hamburg before passing away in 2012.

Regarded as "one of the finest Beatles collections to ever come to auction", it featured more than 300 lots spanning the band's career – with a particular emphasis on their early days performing in Germany.

“We may never again see a collection from the Beatles’ formative years in Hamburg, Germany, as complete as the one Uwe Blaschke assembled,” said Dean Harmeyer, Consignment Director for Heritage Auctions.

“Clearly the market responded to this vitally important part of Beatles history and we are proud to have served the memory of Uwe Blaschke and his passion for the early story of the Beatles, which is reflected in the outstanding success of the auction.”

Dating from 1961, the contract was signed by John, Paul, George and original drummer Pete Best. The band agreed to record their first single 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' along with fellow Hamburg club performer Tony Sheridan, which was released under the guise 'Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers' and earned them $20 each.

Back in England, the track then came to the attention of record store owner Brian Epstein, and when the band returned home he took a trip to the Cavern Club to seek them out. The rest is music history, and the contract which set the wheels in motion sold for $93,750.

Further notable Beatles lots included a 1966 sealed first state stereo 'Butcher Cover' of The Beatles album Yesterday and Today in Gem Mint 10 condition, which sold for $75,000; a unique hand-painted sign from John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1969 Montreal Bed-In For Peace which sold for $75,000; and an autographed first pressing 45 copy of 'Love Me Do / P.S. I Love You' which fetched $25,000.

In total the Blaschke collection realized $409,000, helping Heritage to an overall result of more than $1.3 million.

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