Offbeat

By Josh Saunders


Beatles bloopers, Frank Sinatra with guards, nude Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and other rare photographs could fetch over $120,000 (90kGBP) at auction.

The impressive array of highly sought-after celebrity shots will be on offer with Heritage Auctions in New York, next week (OCT 11th).

The most expensive lot with an estimate of up to $35,000 (26kGBP) are 12 intimate shots of Marilyn Monroe showcasing the Hollywood starlet enjoying sparklers in her birthday cake, swimming nude and more.

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Frank Sinatra pictured at his peak of fame striding through crowds surrounded by bodyguards at the Foundtainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, estimated at $30,000 (22kGBP).

Intimate photos of Muhammad Ali showing his strong proportions in close-up shots estimate to sell for $15,000 (11kGBP) and many more.

Along with two alternatives to The Beatles legendary Abbey Road cover where the famous four strutted over the crosswalk, estimated up to $25,000 (18kGBP)

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Nigel Russel, Director of Photographs for Heritage Auction, said: “On August 8, 1969, The Beatles arrived at Abbey Road Studios for the crosswalk photo-shoot that would soon take place just outside the building.

“At approximately 11:30 am on this sunny day, a willing London policeman was asked to hold up and direct traffic on the busy Abbey Road.

“Iain Macmillan then positioned a step-ladder in the middle of the road, just feet away from the pedestrian crossing, hastily climbed the ladder, quickly steadied himself, and prepared to take the photographs.

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“As The Beatles crossed Abbey Road several times, Iain Macmillan was able to snap six quick shots within a 10-minute timeframe.

“Once the outdoor session was completed, The Beatles entered Abbey Road Studios to record the finishing touches on the songs “Oh! Darling”, “I Want You”, and ironically, “The End”.

“The Abbey Road album was finally completed and released worldwide to the public on September 26, 1969, marking the end of their recording career together as The Beatles.

“The image from this brief photo-shoot used on The Beatles album cover has become so iconic that people take the pilgrimage to Abbey Road to stand on the zebra-striped pedestrian crossing and reenact it.

“There is even a 24-hour webcam of the crossing itself, to this day, artists worldwide continue to imitate the Abbey Road crosswalk photo, including Sir Paul McCartney himself.

“In 1993, McCartney had his photo and sheepdog digitally inserted into the famous Abbey Road photograph for a live album, titling it “Paul Is Live”, poking fun at the age-old “Paul is Dead” rumor created by the Abbey Road LP cover itself.

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“Over the years, Iain Macmillen personally issued only a handful of hand-signed and numbered limited edition prints of his images taken that day at Abbey Road with The Beatles, before his untimely death in 2006.

“These unused alternative images from the Abbey Road cover shoot are extremely rare.”

For the largescale Frank Sinatra image, taken by Terry O’Neill, he captured the King of Swing walking through a crowd surrounded by guards.

The shot was taken during his time filming for Lady in Cement – where he stared as private investigator Tony Rome.

Terry O’Neill, the photographer, recalled: “I just didn’t know how to go about photographing Sinatra at the hotel or what was the best way to approach him.

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“He suddenly appeared around the corner of the boardwalk with his bodyguards and I just captured the moment.”

Other images include more of Marilyn Monroe, specifically what is believed to be her last shot before her death, Bruce Springsteen and many more.

The striking array of celebrity images will be available October 11th in Heritage Auctions’ Photographs Auction in New York.

For more information visit: www.ha.com

SOME OF THE LOTS ON OFFER:
Lawrence Schiller’s 1962 Marilyn 12 Portfolio (twelve photographs) estimate $25,000-35,000
Terry O’Neill’s 1968 Frank Sinatra and Bodyguards, Fountainbleau, Miami Beach estimate $20,000-30,000
Ian Macmillan’s 1969 The Beatles, Abbey Road (two rare alternate cover photograph outtakes), pre-auction estimate $15,000-25,000
“The Greatest” captured in John Stewart’s 1977 Group of Seven Photographs featuring Muhammad Ali estimate $10,000-15,000
Annie Leibovitz’s 1999 Bruce Springsteen, Philadelphia estimate $10,000-15,000
Edward Steichen’s 1929 Gertrude Lawrence estimate $10,000-15,000