As fans of The Beatles prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of band’s debut single, thousands of items of Beatles collectables are to be sold at a Cotswolds antiques auction.
The Beatles headed into EMI’s Abbey Road studios 50 years ago – in June 1962 – and released Love Me Do in October of that year.
The huge collection of Beatles ephemera that will be sold by auctioneers Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester on Friday, January 20 was amassed by a single collector over a half century.
The collection features the old – original 7” singles and vinyl albums – and the new, including toys, books, magazines and calendars dating right up to 2011.
Auctioneer Philip Allwood said: “The Fab Four embraced merchandising, and their logo, names, faces and signatures were licensed to appear on hundreds of thousands of different items during their career.
“But this was an industry that continued well after the demise of the band. The fact that 50 years later collectables are still being produced is testament to the band and their music.”
Moore Allen’s Cirencester saleroom has become an Aladdin’s Cave of Beatles collectables. Books, posters, china plates, drinks mats, guitars, pin badges, fridge magnets and even a gift box of men’s socks and a telephone that sings Yeah, Yeah, Yeah at an incoming call will be found at the auction.
Every album from 1963’s Please Please Me to Let It Be, released in 1970 after the band’s split, is represented on vinyl, CD, or both. There are limited edition vinyl pressings and foreign territory imports, including 7” singles pressed for the Russian market, live albums and compilation albums.
Among the best of the rest are limited edition ceramic figures by the likes of Lorna Bailey and Ray Noble.
Bailey – one of the foremost ceramicists of the present day – created two sets at the behest of John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird in 2006, which were sold through Bailey’s Staffordshire studio and the Beatles Museum at the Albert Dock in Liverpool.
The two sets, based on the outfits worn by John, Paul, George and Ringo for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Yellow Submarine are expected to achieve £150 to £200 each, while Ray Noble’s Sgt. Pepper’s character mugs should make £100 to £150 for the set of four.
A limited edition of Ringo Starr’s Postcards from the Boys, featuring an album of facsimile postcards sent by John, Paul and George to Ringo, and presented in a case designed as a red postal box, commands an estimate of £200 to £300.
And there are boxes of miscellaneous items that will keep Beatles fans happy for hours. A lot described as ‘a montage of various film acetates and photos’ is expected to make £100 to £150, while ‘a large portfolio of newspaper cuttings relating to The Beatles circa 1960-2009’ carries an estimate of £300 to £500.
Finally, a signed photograph of ‘the fifth Beatle’, Pete Best, is expected to make £30 to £50. The year 1962 was also a landmark one for drummer Best, who had toured with the band for two years and accompanied them on their season of club dates in Hamburg. It was the year he was fired.