John Lennon's Sgt Pepper sketch coming to auction



2017-04-28 12:11:06

A John Lennon sketch for the cover of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper album is coming to auction.

The intriguing piece of Beatles history is expected to make up to $60,000 when it sells at Julien's Auctions' Music Icons sale in Los Angeles on May 20.

The new owners of Lennon's Kenwood home found the 4 1/4 by 4 1/4 inch drawing in an old sketchbook when they bought the property in 1969.

While bandmate Paul McCartney conceived the idea for the LP's theme and artwork, the entire band took an active role in the sleeve's design.

It's not known at what stage in the process Lennon produced this sketch. Although with many of the final elements in evidence here, including Diana Dors and a palm tree, it may even have been after artist Peter Blake had finished its design.  

“The astonishing sketch includes John Lennon’s handwriting of the album’s title on the central bass drum in the image," says the auctioneer.

“This sketch is one of the most significant and historically important pieces of Beatles memorabilia ever to be recovered."

Rolling Stone magazine named Sgt Pepper the best album cover ever made. The sleeve's famous design and ground-breaking musical ideas should see this item reach its estimate. Sgt Pepper-related items have previously sold for considerable sums.

Peter Blake's original cardboard collage for the insert, including cutout Sgt Pepper moustache, auctioned for $88,000 in 2012. The cardboard gnome used in the front cover made $42,500 in 2015.

The sale also features Elvis Presley's first piano. It has a $200,000 high-end estimate. A 1964 Gibson SG guitar wielded by the Who's Pete Townshend is expected to make up to $80,000.

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