Lot 4005: Beatles Signed 1963 Royal Command Performance Admission Ticket
17th August 2017
Immensely desirable ticket stub, 4.5 x 3.5, for the infamous appearance of the Beatles at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London on November 4, 1963, for a royal variety performance before Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother, issued as "Artistes and Staff Pass," with the ticket holder's name, "Mr. Baker," typed into the upper left corner. The reverse has been attractively signed in black ballpoint by Ringo Starr and John Lennon, and in blue ballpoint by Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Additionally, the front has been signed in black ink by legendary actress Marlene Dietrich, who was in attendance as a performer that evening. Restored to fine condition via tasteful and unobtrusive professional cleaning, which lightly impinges upon portions of the signatures. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from noted Beatles expert Frank Caiazzo, in part: "The ticket was signed on November 4, 1963, after the show, and these signatures are excellent examples of each…This ticket represents a significant performance in the history of The Beatles, and was proof positive that they had officially 'made it' in England. This is a rare and extremely desirable item, with very few being signed on the night of the event, and one of only 3 which have surfaced, these actually being much rarer than signed programs from the event." The band's selection as part of the Royal Variety Performance did much to propel Beatlemania across the whole of England. The group performed four songs—'From Me To You,' 'She Loves You,' 'Till There Was You,' and 'Twist and Shout'—and when ITV broadcasted the show a week later on November 10, an estimated 21 million people tuned in. This was also the event where John Lennon took a jab at the Crown with his famous bit of stage banter: ‘For our last number I'd like to ask your help. The people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you'd just rattle your jewelry.’ A magnificent, fully signed piece from one of the earliest Beatles controversies.
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