Mystery collector snatches Astrid Kirchherr Beatles pics from US auction

Mystery surrounds the identity of a buyer who purchased an entire collection of original Astrid Kirchherr photographs of The Beatles prior an auction scheduled at Guernsey's, US.

Kirchherr, who also became the fiancée of late Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, photographed the Fab Four in their early days as a jobbing garage rock band in Hamburg Germany.

The photographs were up for sale with their copyright - meaning whoever bought then would effectively own the sole rights to these historic images of The Beatles' early days.

But, at the last hour (why are these things always so last-minute?), the unidentified buyer stepped in and made an offer that Guernsey's apparently couldn't refuse.

On the bright side, the mystery sale suggests that the collection won't be split up. Perhaps its new owner will decide to exhibit their collection in the future?


Paul McCartney photographed in Germany circa 1960
Bright future: Paul McCartney photographed in Germany circa 1960

Naturally, the mystery of the collection's new owner has inspired debate and speculation among Fab Four fans.

For starters, the new owner of the photographs is obviously wealthy, which makes everyone from Sir Paul McCartney to Yoko Ono and even Ringo Starr possible contenders.

That said, the world is filled with famous Beatles collectors beside those from the 'inner circle'. Like the entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple (named after The Beatles' own firm Apple Corps) Steve Jobs.

"My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other," he once said.

"And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are not done by one person, they are done by a team of people."

Postcards currently for sale featuring Astrid Kirchherr's early Beatles shots - click for more information


This collection could also prove to be greater than the sum of its parts - and its cumulative value will only continue to increase in coming years.

In other Beatles collectibles news, an LP gifted to the doctor who 'saved' the Beatles' Ed Sullivan show appearance is auctioning in Knoxville.

Watch this space for more info. And if you have any information on the mystery buyer of the Astrid Kirchherr collection, then let us know by contacting  


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