The Beatles Collectibles

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:51:45

The Beatles collectibles are items of music memorabilia relating to the iconic British band The Beatles.

 

Background

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool, UK, in 1960. Today, they are recognised as one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in popular music.

From 1962 onwards, the group’s members included John Lennon (guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals).

History

While the group’s origins were in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later expanded into other genres ranging from folk to psychedelic rock.

From their debut single, 1963’s “Please Please Me” / “Ask Me Why”, to their 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, many of The Beatles music releases are today regarded as classics. Much memorabilia linked to the group has since emerged on the private collectors’ markets.

 

The Beatles were collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people.

While Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are both alive and active as musical performers, John Lennon and George Harrison estate’s continue to profit after their deaths.

In 2009, according to Forbes magazine, John Lennon remained the fourth highest earning dead celebrity, just ahead of Albert Einstein and behind Charles M Schultz, creator of the Snoopy cartoon.

Notable Beatles collectibles

Vintage clothing

John Lennon's DA Milling designed jacket and pants worn during his Beatles days brought $12,800 at a Julien's Auctions sale at the Hard Rock Cafe in 2009.

Album covers

Approximately 125 signed album covers are known to exist.

Autographs

A signed copy of the magazine in which Lennon infamously proclaimed the Beatles "more popular than Jesus" sold for $13,000 in New York in 2009. The issue is autographed by Lennon: "…love from John C Lennon," presumed to be a reference to Jesus Christ's initials.

According to the PFC40 Autograph Index, a signed photograph of The Beatles is worth £22,500 and a signed album page is worth £8,500.

Musical instruments

The customised drum skin which appears on the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, designed specially by artist Joe Ephgrave and only ever used for the photoshoot, went up for auction at Christie’s in 2008. It sold for $1.07m, nearly four times its pre-sale estimate.

A Gibson SG guitar owned by George Harrison nicknamed 'Lucy' was used by Harrison on the recording of Revolver LP and played by John Lennon during sessions for the White Album. It was also the guitar used during the Beatles' last live performance together, on the rooftop of their Apple headquarters in 1969, and had originally been given to Harrison by his friend Eric Clapton.

Stolen from Harrison’s home in the early 70s, the guitar was later returned by a musician from New Mexico who had bought it for $650. In 2004 it sold at a memorabilia auction for $576,500.

Hair

In the late 1970s, former Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono donated their hair to raise funds for a Black Panther commune in London. Clumps of Lennon’s hair have since been sold at auction for tens of thousands of pounds.

Photographs

In June 2011 Christie's announced the upcoming sale of a collection of 50 unseen photographs documenting the band's first U.S tour in 1964. The images were taken by the 18 year-old Washington teenager Mike Mitchell, who still works as a photographer, and feature their arrival at Union Station along with a press conference and the show at the Washington Coliseum.

The photographs had remained stored safely in a box ever since, and have a pre-sale estimate of up to $100,000. Christie's have stated that this estimate is conservative, based on the fact that the photographer is relatively unknown. They will appear in the sale in New York on July 20 2011.

 

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