A signed copy of the White Album that is thought to be unique has sold at the top of Tracks Auction's sale dedicated to Beatles memorabilia.
The LP, signed by all four of the Beatles after their split in 1970, sold for £114,000 ($186,526) on December 1, making a 42.5% increase on its £80,000 high estimate.
The price places the album second in the list of most valuable Beatles-signed albums sold at auction, with a signed copy of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band holding the record at $290,500, having sold at Heritage Auctions in April.
There are only a handful of signed Sgt Pepper's LPs in existence, yet this is the only known fully signed copy of the White Album to have surfaced at auction since its release.
The signatures are described as "virtually perfect", with George and Ringo signing in blue pen, while Paul and John have signed in black. Lennon has added a caricature of him and Yoko Ono as well as the date, "Dec 1973".
Lennon did not return to the UK after August 1971, so it is presumed the album was signed by him in the US. The rest of the band members could have signed either in England or while visiting the US, and the signatures are concurrent with other examples from 1973/1974.
December 1973 was during the period that Lennon described as his "Lost Weekend", when he was drinking heavily and separated from Yoko Ono. The doodle shows that she was still in his thoughts at the time, which is backed up by a Lennon postcard to Beatles press officer Derek Taylor from the same month, which reads:
"Yoko and me are in hell, but I'm gonna change it...probably this very day. Anyway, I'm still famous. He who laffs last is often hard of hearing".
Find out what makes Beatles records so valuable.
Also selling in the auction was John Lennon's detention sheet from Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool, which shows how troublesome the Beatle was in his younger days. Filled with a list of offences (one for almost every day of the week), the sheet made £6,750 ($11,044), up 125% on the £3,000 high estimate.