Tuesday 17 August 2010

Liverpool Beatles Auction 2010

In the 20 years of organising the annual Liverpool Beatles Auction the people at The Beatles Shop on Mathew Street have seen some interesting items go under the hammer, but this year sees one of the more unusual ones - John Lennon's toilet.

The toilet was originally part of a bathroom in John's Tittenhurst Park homes which he purchased in 1969.  The loo was removed during refurbishment by a builder named John Hancock. Lennon suggested he take the ornately decorated toilet home and "put some flowers in it."  It is being sold by the builder's son-in-law after being carefully stored in a garden shed for the last forty years.

Also from Tittenhurst Park comes a small harmonica that belonged to John's son, Julian. It was given to Mr Hancock by John who asked him to take it home as Julian was driving him mad with it. He said he would tell Julian it was lost.

Both items are to be sold in The Annual Beatles Auction to be held at The Paul McCartney Auditorium at the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts on the morning of Saturday 28th August.
Lennon's Toilet carries an estimate of £750 - £1000
The harmonica is estimated at £800 - £1000

The auction aims to have something for everything. Being based and organised in Liverpool there are a lot of items of local interest.  This year there are several handbills for local concerts. Not all of them feature the Beatles, but there is a healthy interest in other Merseybeat bands among collectors.  In fact there are several lots made up of Merseybeat group promotional and business cards.

Cavern items feature every year.  This year they range from a rare piece of Cavern stage, an invitation to the Grand Reopening  of the Club in 1966 through to Club membership cards covering the early 60s.

Not too many Beatles records are rare enough to be worth large amounts of money.  An exception is their first album, Please Please Me, but only with the right sort of label.   In the auction there is a "Gold Label" mono version of the album which is estimated to reach £125 - £175.

Rarer than that in an added lot (not in the catalogue) is the Gold Label stereo version of the same album.  Stereo records were rarer in the early as they were slightly more expensive than their mono counterparts and most people only have mono record players anyway.   This means that the stereo version is estimated to reached £2000 - £2500 - quite a difference.

By  the end of the 60s it was a different matter and more stereo records were sold than mono ones. This means that by the time the John and Yoko avant garde album Two Virgins was released it was the stereo version that was on general release, and mono versions had to special ordered.  In the first year of its release only 32 copies of the mono version were sold.  A rare mono copy of this album is up for sale in the auction and carries an estimate of £2000-£2500.   The album is most famous for its controversial cover featuring a photograph of John and Yoko in the nude. Several record shops at the time stocked the disc in a brown paper wrapper.

The Liverpool Beatles Auction 2010 Catalogue is now available from The Beatles Shop on Mathew Street.
Details of how to get a copy can be found by clicking here.
A downloadable text copy of the Catalogue is available by clicking here.