By Josh Saunders
John Lennon’s personal copy of a Beatles album with hand-drawn sketches dubbed the ‘world’s rarest album’ up for auction at over $200,000 (152kGBP).
The rare pre-production album of Yesterday and Today ‘Butcher Cover’ Stereo Prototype will go up for auction on November 11th in Dallas in Texas, USA and online.
The piece, John Lennon’s person copy, sports a black pen illustration of a man with his shovel and a dog, in front of the setting sun with other squiggles and intended tears, stains and flaws.
Alongside a signed ‘To Dave, from John Lennon’ dated December 7th, 1971 and signatures from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
John Lennon gave the album to Beatles fan and collector, Dave Morrell, in trade for some of his memorabilia and bootleg material.
He traded the album for a reel-to-reel tape of the Beatles tribute super group Yellow Matter Custard, which was display on the wall of his Dakota apartment.
The Yesterday and Today prototype was pulled two days after its release and all destroyed apart from a few, including this one, owned by Lennon himself.
Autograph experts of the fab four, Gary Hein and Perry Cox, share the auction house’s belief that this is the world’s rarest Beatles album due to the album’s history and personalisation’s.
Garry Shrum, a Director of Music Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions, said: “The term ‘world class’ is probably a bit over-used in describing collectibles, however, labeling this unique, rare, and desirable Beatles item as ‘World Class’ is not hyperbole.
“This piece is rare because one it’s the butcher cover that was withdrawn and never sold on the market after the second day.
“It’s John Lennon’s personal copy, it’s a prototype that had a blank back, which John did artwork on the back of.
“Plus it’s a stereo copy which was the rarest of the butcher covers, because only a few stereo copies got out when they were for sale.
“So this is a brilliant piece for any Beatles collector or Rock and Roll collector that likes to collect the history of music.
“We found out that it was a prototype, meaning that it wasn’t issued as a normal release.
“It was a white cover that somebody had taken one of the remain slips and glued it to at the pressing plant and that’s how it got out and was sent to John.
“The album was pulled two days after it came out but this being pulled so quickly most people didn’t even have time to know it was out or to get a copy of it and most were pulled off from the market and destroyed.
“When John had the piece brought to the studio he took it and did a doodle on the back especially for this kid that he had met and brought this rare tape to him.
“As you can see takes up the whole cover a very unique and obviously a one of a kind piece of artwork coming right from John for this gentleman.
“He even made the little cloud on the other side and signed it for him and later in life he got to meet the other two Beatles and got them to sign the front as well so it makes it a very unique piece.
“Also with this record we have LOAs from Perry Cox and Gary Hein stating that they also feel like I do that this is the rarest Beatle’s record in the world coming to auction.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer.
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For more information visit: www.ha.com