The Weirdest & Most Expensive Beatles Artifacts You Can Buy

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A previously unseen George Harrison letter, which reveals that The Beatles scrapped plans to record at Stax Studio with producer Jim Stewart, has just sold for $20,000 (£13,000). The letter was written in 1966 to Atlanta DJ Paul Drew as The Beatles began work on ‘Revolver’. Pretty much anything the Beatles touched turns to gold eventually, as you will see. Step right this way…

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A guitar once owned by John Lennon and used to write The Beatles’ 1966 hit ‘Paperback Writer’ fetched a whopping £360,000 at auction in 2015. The Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins Nashville model hollow body guitar was bought by American collector, Jim Irsay.

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A letter from John Lennon to Phil Spector blaming The Who drummer Keith Moon and singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson for urinating on a console at an LA recording studio is up for auction, with an estimated value of £6,000.

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Paul McCartney’s 1907 Bechstein Concert Grand piano will be up for sale at an auction in Liverpool on March 20th and is expected to fetch more than £50,000. It is believed to be the piano ‘Help!’ was written on, and you don’t get much more Beatle-y than that.

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If one piano isn’t enough then you’ll not get more iconic than John Lennon’s Steinway model “z” played in the ‘Imagine’ video, complete with cigarette burns. Not wanting to add further blim-holes to the piece, the buyer George Michael generously lent it to the Beatles Story museum so all can enjoy. It set the former Wham! man back a cool £1,450,000.

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George Harrison was the best guitar player in the Beatles so it stands to reason his Gibson SG – the most rock ‘n’ roll of all the guitars – sold at auction for $570,000 in 2004. George popularised another instrument – the sitar – and made a household name of Ravi Shankar around the world, proving that even ‘the quiet one’ could make quite a noise.

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Ringo Starr may not have been the best drummer in the Beatles, but he clearly knew a thing or two about cars. A 1964 Vega II Coupé made by the short-lived French luxury carmaker Facel sadly had to be exchanged in 1968 when the drummer was looking to settle down. It sold for £337,500 in December 2013, a rather outlandish stocking filler for somebody.

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And this is where things start to get disgusting. A dentist in Canada, the aptly named Michael Zuk, paid an eye-watering £30,000 for one of John Lennon’s discarded teeth. What’s perhaps more disturbing is the fact the buyer has begun sequencing the DNA from the ‘discoloured molar’ in the hope of eventually cloning the singer. Now that would be some crowning glory…

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Who knew 50 years ago that a piece of 4-foot-by-2-foot plastic wall from The Ed Sullivan Show that The Beatles all signed and drew squiggly faces on would threaten to reach a million quid half a century on? The Beatles? Just a band. But after this one TV show, a worldwide phenomenon, there’d be no going back.

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A wooden spoon signed by John and Yoko and handed out at a film night they were hosting at the London ICA in 1969 is up for auction at Christies. This scribbled on perfunctory kitchen utensil is expected to fetch between £800 and £1,200, proving whoever went home with it didn’t take home the proverbial wooden spoon that night.

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The Beatles had to give up touring midway through the 60’s because it became so impractical and noisy – and that was just the crowd – but in 1973 arena rock was in full swing, and Wings were its masters. Logoed frisbees flipped into the crown on the ‘Red Rose Speedway’ tour that year now fetch £150 or more on eBay.

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You might have thought John Lennon was completely naked on the cover of ‘Two Virgins’ but he wasn’t. Perhaps your eye was distracted, because he was actually wearing his ‘talisman’ necklace. The piece of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia was sold to a private collector for £340,900 after it’d fetched around half that at a Christie’s auction in 2004.

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Ringo’s decision to stop signing autographs not so long ago prompted some to accuse him of being a grumpy old sod, though it’s proved to be a fortuitous decision for anyone already in possession of his signature. According to Paul Fraser Collectables, Ringo’s scribble was worth £195 in 2000, whereas now it commands around £1,200 a signature, a 515.4% leap.

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George Harrison’s autograph has appreciated more than any other popular figure from history in the last decade and a half, according to Paul Fraser Collectables, and there might be a good reason for that (he died in 2001). A signature that went for under £200 in 2000 is now worth £2,950 approx, a 1412.8% appreciation.

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The signature of John Lennon can fetch anything up to £7,000 these days, probably on account of the fact he’s been dead for nearly 35 years. Heather Mills take note, Paul McCartney’s signature is worth £2,000, and it’s only going to increase eventually. We’re pleased to report the Songwriter’s Songwriter is still going strong.

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You can buy the autograph of Pete Best, drummer with the Beatles between 1960 and 1962, on eBay for a slightly reduced £34.99 on a mounted photograph, or just £29.99 on a pair of drumsticks. How much the signature of the man who was unceremoniously turfed out just before the band hit paydirt is worth without the sticks or the photograph is not known.

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Is there a more famous album sleeve than Peter Blake’s pop-art collage for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club? Unfortunately Diana Dors, Ghandi, Bob Dylan etc can’t be bought for any price, so one minted investor had to make do with the drum skin featured on the cover, shelling out a mighty $1.07 million.

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George Harrison’s autograph has appreciated more than any other popular figure from history in the last decade and a half, according to Paul Fraser Collectables, and there might be a good reason for that (he died in 2001). A signature that went for under £200 in 2000 is now worth £2,950 approx, a 1412.8% appreciation.

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If John Lennon had anything to do with it when he was alive then it will sell for inflated amounts. A watercolour painting he whacked out at school when he was an 11-year-old sold for an astonishing $123,000 at auction in 2009. But he was 11! He probably hadn’t even written a song by then.

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You won’t believe the price Lennon’s famous 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine fetched at auction in 1985. The one-and-only Roller with the psychedelic paintwork sold at Sotheby’s on June 29, 1985, and was snapped up for a record £1,768,462 by somebody with a lot of lolly.

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What better album cover to scribble all over than the “White Album”? Strange then that there are so few in existence with the Fab Four cosigning together. Tracks Auction sold one in December for £136,800 which it described as “the rarest fully signed Bea­t­les album ever to be auc­tioned”. Well they would say that.

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If the Beatles hadn’t been the world’s most successful pop group then they surely would have made it as used car salesmen. Lennon’s four-door 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman limousine sold for £137,500 at Christie’s in London back in 1989.

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A pair of John’s trademark glasses went for $97,000 in 2009. In March 2013, Yoko tweeted a picture of the bloodied glasses Lennon was wearing when he was shot dead in New York, with the message “Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the U.S.A. since John Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980”.

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A Nehru jacket, belonging to John Lennon fetched £7,000 at an auction in the UK at the same time that tooth was snapped up. You might have gathered by now that anything Lennon-related sells for shitloads. A detention charge sheet of ‘class clown’ John recently got bought up for £8,500.

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Finally, an infamous deleted ‘butcher’ cover for ‘Yesterday And Today’ still shrink wrapped and in mint condition, fetched £15,300 on eBay in November. Columbia in America brought out around 750,000 covers with the Fab Four dressed as butchers and covered with raw meat and bloodied doll parts, until complaints from the public saw the record company withdraw it.

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