Beatles Items Sell Big on Auction Block

By | October 2, 2003 at 12:00 AM

The Beatles again proved their enduring popularity when an auction of several pieces of the Fab Four’s memorabilia, including a rare early concert poster and a program for a 1965 U.S. concert tour, fetched thousands of dollars.

The Beatles’ mementos were among hundreds of items from artists such as the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Queen and Madonna at Christie’s biannual pop memorabilia auction. Items up for sale Wednesday included autographed material, lyrics, gold discs, unpublished photographs and clothing.

Christie’s said the total raised in the one-day auction was $632,030.

“Once again, The Beatles topped the bill at Christie’s pop sale,” said Sarah Hodgson, associate director at the auction house.

The poster for The Beatles’ 1962 “Number One Star Show” at New Brighton, northern England, sold for $19,516, while the U.S. tour program – signed by all four Beatles – raised $22,443.

A single record of their “Hey Jude-Revolution” brought $17,565, while a 1964 Pan American Airways in-flight menu, signed by all four band members, went for $15,048.

A wooden sculpture of a twin-door closet, titled “Open and Shut,” designed by John Lennon, claimed the highest price of the day at $46,840, double its original estimate.

All the Beatles’ material went to private or British or American trade buyers.

Trousers worn in 1984 by Freddie Mercury were sold to the Hard Rock Cafe for $6,375, and a 1976 pencil sketch on paper of Charlie Chaplin by Michael Jackson went to a private buyer for $6,192, more than three times its estimate. Jackson has said Chaplin influenced his drive for perfection, and dedicated his album “Dangerous” to him.