A collection of rare photographs featuring the Beatles and other celebrities went under the hammer on 4th May 2016, in Kent.
Sevenoaks-based Auctioneers Ibbett Mosely are expected bids from UK and overseas collectors and had expected one of the signed photographs of the Beatles to sell for around £2,000. In the end, the hammer fell at £2,900.
Two of the collections have strong Sevenoaks connections. One was taken in Knole Park when the market town became hosts to the Beatles on the last two days of January 1967.
John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney, along with the manager Brian Epstein, who arrived in a grey Rolls Bentley, were in the park to record a promotion film for the release on 17 February 1967 of their new record Strawberry Fields Forever.
A local photographer, who wishes to remain anonymous, took a sequence of pictures during the two-day visit and was able to obtain the autographs of Lennon, Starr and McCartney. He was less successful with gaining Harrison’s signature who, when approached, told the cameraman to p**s off!
Brian Epstein was rarely seen in public and on 27 August 1967 was found dead in his Belgrave, London, home following an accidental drug overdose.
Also taken by the same local photographer is photograph with autographs featuring Diana Dors, Max Bygraves, who predictably arrived in his white Rolls Royce, Shirley Anne Field, Peter Haig and Jess Conrad who came to Sevenoaks Odeon Theatre for the premier showing of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” featuring Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore, among others on Thursday 21 March 1968.The autographs are all originals appended to the group photograph on the evening of the film.
Another collection is as a result of The Beatles being photographed by American photographer Richard Avedon on Friday 11 August 1967.
The shoot took place in a penthouse in Thompson House, 200 Gray’s Inn Road, London. The psychedelic portraits of the Beatles were first published on 9 January 1968 in an edition of the US magazine Look and subsequently sold as posters.
The posters first appeared in the Daily Express newspaper in 1968. The black and white picture of the Beatles was also taken by Richard Avedon.
Auctioneer Derek Hodge said before the auction: “It’s quite exciting to be auctioning an item with international appeal but with a very strong local connection. We are coming up to the 50th anniversary of Strawberry Fields which adds more interest. It’s a shame George Harrison’s signature is missing but even so we are expecting the photos to obtain a good price.
In addition to the international interest from Beatles’ collectors, we also had local media attention, including an interview with Auctioneer, Derek Hodge, on BBC South East Today and ITV Meridian. Below, I have included a few screengrabs from the BBC South East Today broadcast.
Known for its residential and commercial property services, Ibbett Mosely offers a complete range of integrated property services, from selling, letting and property management to planning consultancy and design, surveying and architectural services. The award-winning company also owns an auction house in Sevenoaks specialising in furniture, antiques and fine art.