The drum head the Beatles used on their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance is to auction.
The stunning piece of pop history, featuring the familiar "dropped T" logo, will star at Julien's Auctions' Rock N Roll sale on November 7 in Beverly Hills.
A TV audience of 73 million witnessed the Beatles play on February 9, 1964 - the moment the band captured America. It's why collectors are so excited about this item.
"With most Beatles owned and used instruments still in the possession of the individual Beatles or their estates, very few ever make their way into private hands," explains Julien's.
"For the two weeks the Beatles were in America in February 1964, it was at the epicenter of every performance and, to this day, is a certifiable cultural and emotional touchstone for a generation."
It is one of only seven known "dropped T" Beatles drum heads, and certainly the most important.
London-based sign painter Edwin Stokes delivered it to Beatles manager Brian Epstein a week before the band headed for the US.
Upon its return, the item resided at London's Abbey Road Studios and was pictured on three Beatles covers in the US, and the band's Beatles for Sale in the UK. It auctioned for $9,000 in 1984 and sold again in 1994 for $44,000 - to Fab Four collector Russ Lease.
Lease has consigned it to this sale, where we're expecting it to make more than $500,000.
That's because top Beatles memorabilia sells for big sums. The first Beatles contract to feature the signatures of John, Paul, George, and Ringo auctioned for £365,000 ($553,000) last week.
These are hugely exciting times for Beatles buyers. The Gibson acoustic guitar John Lennon played on Love Me Do and other early recordings will also feature at the sale. A drum kit Ringo played at more than 200 early Beatles gigs is expected to make up to $500,000 in December.
View our terrific range of Beatles memorabilia for sale.
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