Beatles 'butcher cover' t-shirt sells with $20,000 eBay asking price

The Beatles' ninth studio album, 1966's Yesterday and Today, has caused more than its fair share of hype in the past...

The classic LP's original artwork caused outrage upon its initial release in 1966, featuring the Fab Four dressed as butchers and wielding lumps of meat and baby dolls on the front cover.

The controversial albums were soon withdrawn from shop shelves, and replaced with an inoffensive band photograph more in keeping with The Beatles' teen-friendly image...

Good clean fun: the original cover for 1966's Yesterday and Today LP

But now yet more hype is set to surround Yesterday and Today following the release on eBay of a "very rare and possible one of a kind" vintage t-shirt. Allegedly dating to 1966, the shirt features the LP's original contentious artwork.

It's being sold by an eBayer in Springfield, Illinois, US, with a significant "Buy it now or best offer" asking price of $20,000 (approximately £12,089).

The shirt is one of many vintage tees being sold by Kosher Collectibles. The Beatles example is being sold as the "rarest rock t-shirt ever???!!!". The seller writes:

"Ok.  I do not know the entire history of this shirt.  I can only tell you that everything seems right about this item, But I have not been able to find anyone who knows the history of this shirt.  The tag is sewn in, 50s or 60s style, and the print is defintely [sic] an old water print. 

According to the seller, the t-shirt was a gift from John Lennon himself

"Also, I can tell you that the guy I got this shirt from played in the band Elephant's Memory and got the shirt himself from Lennon during the early 70s," claims Kosher Collectibles.

"He had other shirts but he actually let me buy this one, which he didn't think was his best, but I felt otherwise.  I spent a bundle on it, hence the high price.  If the original records are scarce, how rare is this piece?  Good luck finding another!"

According to the seller, the t-shirt's condition is "Great! ... no rips or holes. minor wear commensurate with age." Its tag reads "Vee-Kay M", while the measurements are 17" across the chest and 24" from back collar to bottom hem.

We tend not to recommend eBay as a trustworthy source for your collectibles buys here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, as many non-genuine items regularly appear for sale on the popular auction website.

A close-up photograph of the t-shirt's inside label

Also, you should always be certain of an item's provenance before investing your cash. As Kosher Collectibles freely admits, there are some question marks hanging over this item. (Although the seller invites you to get in touch and ask him any further questions.)

Nevertheless, Kosher Collectibles is apparently a star seller with 100% positive buyer feedback. So it will be very interesting to see how this t-shirt does in the online sale.

Back in February, a rare original Yesterday and Today vinyl LP bearing the infamous "butcher cover" sold for $26,290, becoming one of the most expensive pieces of vinyl in existence.


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