By Josh Saunders
Rare signed items including Paul McCartney’s bass guitar, a Led Zeppelin album, a letter from Queen Elizabeth I and a document belonging to Al Capone document have fetched £150k at auction.
The sought-after collectibles went under the hammer with RR Auction, in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of the auction house’s Fine Autographs and Artefacts sale.
Leading the auction, nearly doubling its estimate at £24,500 was Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut signed by the full band – with a postcard and ticket stub from 1969.
The rare piece features Robert Plant drawing of an arrow to bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones’s signature, stating ‘spot the looney’ and ‘rock on’ – and there are believed to be less than 30 fully signed Led Zeppelin albums in existence.
A Paul McCartney signed ‘violin’ bass guitar, with his name and the year 1989 written on the body, sold for £20,200.
Meanwhile, an ultra-rare double signed interest note from Infamous gangster ‘Alphonse Capone’ that also sports the signatures of his mother Theresa and wife Mae while in Chicago, sold for £19,100.
The note was from 1926, five years before he was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison – including a stint in Alcatraz.
A letter from Queen Elizabeth I written in 1568, the same year she famously imprisoned her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, sold for £19,000.
Signed photographs of Yoko Ono and John Lennon dubbed a ‘beautiful couple’ sold for £6,400.
Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction, said: “There are said to be fewer than 30 known fully signed Led Zeppelin albums known to exist making this both rare and remarkable.
“This example is made all the more interesting by Plant’s two signatures and humorous line, making it as a true rock history rarity.
“Led Zeppelin is one of the most legendary bands in rock music history and from the time of the release of their debut album they were an overnight success.
“Access to the entire group at the same time was an incredibly rare opportunity — even for the seasoned autograph seeker.
“Our consignor indicated that this complete set was obtained by a member of the road crew.
“The price achieved nearly doubled our pre-auction estimate, so we are thrilled for both our consignor and winning bidder.”
A rose metallic gold-tone waist chain charm belt made for Prince during the LoveSexy era with seven stylised charms sold for £15k.
Other unusual items including the suit of Colonel Sanders, a signed Princess Diana photo, Dr Seuss sketch, Andy Warhol sketch, Neil Armstrong signed photo which all sold for less than £1,600 each.
Discussing Paul McCartney’s guitar, Bobby added: “This example is both rare and remarkable because it was far more common for McCartney to sign on the pickguard.
“This particular Hofner model bass and signature is far less common than we have seen in our more than 40 years in the auction business— adding to its rarity and why it was able to achieve such an impressive figure.”
LIST: AUCTION SALES
Led Zeppelin — Album $32,156.25
Beatles: Paul McCartney — Bass Guitar $26,487.50
Al Capone — DS $25,060.00
Queen Elizabeth I — LS $24,970.00
Prince Gold-Tone Waist Chain Charm Belt — Gold-Tone Belt $19,625.00
Declaration of Independence Force Print — Force Print $14,742.50
Abraham Lincoln — DS $10,207.50
George Washington — Signature $9,988.75
Beatles — Signed Photo $9,278.75
Theodore Roosevelt — Handwritten Manuscript in Book $8,860.00
Margaret Mitchell — ALS $8,858.75
Beatles: Lennon and Ono — Signed Photo $8,435.00
Presidential Appointments: Lorenzo W. Cooke — DSs $8,248.75
J. R. R. Tolkien — TLS $8,011.25
Charles Schulz — Comic Strip $7,837.50
Colonel Harland Sanders — Suit $7,582.50
Dr. Seuss — Sketch $7,562.50
Walt Disney — Program $6,250.00
Albert Einstein — Signed Photo $6,250.00
Peter Max — Artwork $5,627.50
Princess Diana — Signed Photo $5,545.00
Neil Armstrong — Signed Photo $5,486.25