Double Fantasy album signed by John Lennon for Mark Chapman

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2015-06-26 10:54:58

Double Fantasy album signed by John Lennon for Mark Chapman, his killer, is one of the most notable pieces of music memorabilia. 

The album was signed at the request of Mark Chapman, just five hours before Chapman shot dead the former Beatles star on 8th December 1980. The copy became famous when photographs circulated of Lennon signing the album for Chapman.

Lennon signed the album at the corner of West 72nd Street and Central Park West in New York, outside the Dakota building where he lived. Lennon was leaving home to attend a recording session.

The album is thought to have been found in a planter by a maintenance man, close to Lennon’s building. The album was then handed to the police who discovered Chapman’s fingerprints on it. The album was returned to its owner along with a letter “of extreme gratitude from the district attorney”.

The owner sold it in 1999 for around $150,000.

Chapman has unsuccessfully attempted to reclaim the album in the past, claiming that it was the least he could do to auction the album and donate the money to a children's charity.

2010 sale

The album was put up for auction in 2010 by the US dealer who bought it in 1999, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s death.

The album was expected to be sold through website auctioneers Moments in Time for a minimum of $850,000.

"The album is the most extraordinary artefact in rock'n'roll history," said Bob Zafian, a spokesman for the seller. "I have never come across a piece with such provenance. Police reports, fingerprint documentation, letters from the [district attorney], it goes on and on."

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