Julien's Auctions celebrates 2015 with record-breaking sales

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2015-12-30 13:32:53

As 2015 draws to a close, Julien's Auctions is celebrating a record-breaking year, having hosted some of the biggest music memorabilia sales in history.

“We have had a great 2015 and we look forward to breaking even more world records in 2016,” said Darren Julien, Founder & CEO of Julien’s Auctions.

“What makes us most proud is the delight we see on both consigners’ and collectors’ faces when an item is sold and a bid accepted during our exciting auctions. We’re here to bring in the best prices achieved worldwide and we are very proud of the excitement we continue to cause in the auction world.”

Leading the way were three of the most important pieces of Beatles memorabilia ever offered at auction, with each of them realizing a record price.

First up was John Lennon's original 1962 J-160E Gibson Acoustic guitar, with which he wrote many of the band's biggest early hits. Having vanished 50 years ago during a series of Christmas concerts, the guitar turned up again in the U.S, having spent decades in the collection of musician John McCaw.

Having been identified as Lennon's 'lost' guitar by experts, the instrument sold at Julien's for $2,410,000, setting a new world record price for any piece of historic music memorabilia. 

The very same November auction also included the original Beatles drum skin, which appeared with the Fab Four during their landmark performance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Bearing the band's famous hand-painted 'Drop T' logo, the relic from arguably the most important musical TV performance in pop culture history sold for a record-breaking $2,125,000.

Just one month later in December, Julien's offered the remarkable memorabilia collection of Ringo Starr himself. The headline lot was his 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl three piece drum kit, played on all the band's early recordings and at every one of their concerts as they took the U.K by storm. Having remained in Starr's collection ever since, it sold for $2.2 million, making it the world's most valuable drum kit.

The sale also brought another record price – one which surprised even the experts. Starr's personal copy of The White Album came up for sale, bearing the magic serial number #0000001 – the first copy to leave the pressing plant. Estimated to sell for around $50,000, it soared to a final price of $790,000, the highest price ever paid for a record.

“The energy at our auctions is electric. From Ringo Starr’s Ludwig Drum Kit to the John Lennon Acoustic guitar many thought was lost forever, we are making history at Julien’s Auctions,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions.

“We cannot wait for 2016 and to announce everything we have in store for next year. Our staff, our collectors, our consignors and our fans are among the best in the world. We are so very honoured to have the opportunity to provide entertainment as well as fine investment opportunities with remarkable auctions throughout the year. Here’s to seeing new world records in 2016!”

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