Jerry Garcia's Captain Trips hat makes $117,000 at Christie's

Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia's popularity among collectors has been demonstrated at Christie's yesterday (December 16) with his "Captain Trips" hat selling as top lot.

Garcia Captain Trips
Garcia wore the Captain Trips hat during the mid 1960s

Estimated at £30,000-50,000 in the London sale, the hat made £74,500 ($116,884) - a 49% increase.

Hand-painted in Uncle Sam style, Garcia wore the hat on a number of occasions between 1966-1967, including photo shoots with Herb Greene and Gene Anthony that would later be reproduced on the cover and liner of the band's eponymous debut album.

Garcia then gave the hat to Harry Tsvi Strauch, who ran a boutique in the renowned Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco. He explained: "In the Summer of 1966, The Grateful Dead became our neighbors, moving into 710 Ashbury, the house two doors up from ours.

"September 1967, an anti-war/peace march was to come through Haight Street for a rally at Kezar Stadium. My wife - Hyla Strauch - was designing a Red, White & Blue American Flag themed window display for our shop in support of the march.

"She thought that Jerry Garcia's Capt'n Trips hat would be the ideal, iconic centerpiece for the display. We brought this up to Jerry, and he gave us the hat to use in the shop window!

"When it was time to take the display down, we offered to return the hat - Jerry told us 'I don't want the hat...You keep it, take care of it.'"

Also selling was a page of working lyrics for the Beatles' Maxwell's Silver Hammer, which appeared on the Abbey Road album. Penned in 1968 by Beatles road manager Mal Evans, with additional lines by Paul McCartney, it sold for £21,250 ($33,256).  

Paul Fraser Collectibles has an exceptional selection of Beatles memorabilia for sale.

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