Beatlemania struck Bonhams at its June 23 Entertainment Memorabilia auction in London. But there were no hoards of screaming girls this time, just eager collectors on the look-out for a piece of rock 'n' roll history.
Among the starring lots - which also included rare memorabilia of fellow rock giants the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and U2 - was a Liverpool airport notice autographed by all four Beatles, commemorating the group's return to their home city in 1964.
From The Beatles' momentous arrival back in their native Liverpool
The sign, believed to be one-of-a-kind, marked the momentous return to Liverpool by its most famous sons for the northern première of their iconic movie, A Hard Day's Night. It's reported that some 3,000 fans greeted them upon their arrival at Speke Airport.
It reads: "In the interests of public safety, The Blenheim Lounge will be closed to the public from approximately 4.0 p.m. to 6.0 p.m. on this day. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause," alongside the group's signatures all written in black ballpoint pen.
After meeting members of the press, the group were then driven into the city in a police motorcade, the route lined with yet more cheering fans...
The band and members of their families were later treated to a civic reception at the Town Hall with 700 guests, including the Lord Mayor, Bessie Braddock MP, Lord and Lady Derby and the Bishop of Liverpool.
A signed hits LP (above), and all four Beatles' signatures on the day of
their historic live Satellite broadcast of All You Need Is Love
The Beatles greeted the crowds from the balcony and, despite the formality of the occasion, John treated them to several 'Sieg Hiel'-type gestures. The scale of the occasion required the Liverpool police to mount the largest security operation in their history in order to manage the large crowds.
This piece of historic memorabilia - as significant a moment in history for Liverpool as it was The Beatles - sold for a final price of £19,800 inclusive of Buyer's Premium.
Elsewhere in the sale, a rare autographed copy of 1963's The Beatles Hits EP (Parlophone GEP 8880) with a laminated, flip back cover and disc, signed in blue ballpoint by Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Ringo, sold for an impressive £9,600.
Also auctioned was a set of Beatles autographs from a very historic day in the Fab Four's history: Saturday, June 25, 1967, which was also a very important day in the development of television...
Backed by a full orchestra, The Beatles gathered in London's Abbey Road Studios to perform a partly-live version of their hit, All You Need Is Love (see the above video). The performance was part of Our World, the first-ever programme transmitted to five continents via satellite.
Signed on the day of their historic performance, the set of autographs - by all four members in blue ballpoint pen on a page measuring 5 ¼ x 6 ¼ inches - sold for £5,520 inclusive of Buyer's Premium.
Elsewhere, collectors with an interest in Lennon's art can also buy this very scarce hand-drawing by The Beatles legend, sketched during his first year at Liverpool Art School.
It is presently for sale alongside various rare and valuable autographs signed by the Fab Four, Led Zeppelin, The Who and others.
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