Sothebys sale far exceeds early expectations
Michael Baggs

14:50 5th June 2014

A collection of poems and doodles by John Lennon have sold at auction in New York for a total nearly $3million.

A number of items were sold at Sotheby's this week, with The Beatle's short story The Singularge Experience Of Anne Duffield, a Sherlock Holmes parody, proving the most desirable among financially secure fans and selling for an enormous $209,000.

Poem The Fat Budgie sold for £143,000 and manuscript I Sat Belonely was bought for $137,000. Another piece, titled Neville Club was sold for $100,000. It was expected to fetch $12,000.

"The outstanding result shows that Lennon’s nonsense verse, puns, wicked humour and comic drawings continue to resonate 50 years after the publication of (his books)," said Gabriel Heaton, deputy director of Sotheby’s books and manuscripts, of the sale.

Below: the most expensive band merchandise ever sold at auction

  • Eric Clapton's favourite guitar from 1973 until 1985, a stratocaster he called 'blackie', sold for $959,500 in a 2004 auction at Christies.

  • John Lennon's upright Stenway piano, on which he wrote 'Imagine', was bought by George Michael at auction for a massive £1,450,000 in 2000. Michael then donated the piano to The Beatles Museum in Liverpool.

  • Jimi Hendrix first set fire to his stratocaster guitar at a London show in 1967, and more than 40 years later in 2008, this very same instrument sold for £280,000 in London.

  • Paul McCartney's original handwritten lyrics to the 1967 Beatles song 'Getting Better' sold at a London auction for £161,000 in 1995.

  • One of three life-size, gold plated sculptures of Michael Jackson and his pet monkey Bubbles, by Jeff Koons, went for a huge $5.6 million in New York, 2001.

  • The lyric sheets to Elton John & Bernie Taupin's 'Candle In The Wind' fetched £278,512 in 1998.

  • A white stratocaster became the most expensive guitar ever sold when it went for $2.7 million to raise money for Asian Tsunami victims in 2005. The project was coordinated by Bryan Adams, which saw the guitar played and signed by artists including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Jimmy Page Mark Knopfler, Ray Davis, Liam Gallagher, Paul McCartney and Sting.

  • John Lennon''s handwritten lyrics to the classic Beatles song ''A Day In The Life'' sold for a whopping $1,202,500 at Sotheby''s in New York in 2010.

  • Ludwig van Beethoven's manuscript for his 9th Symphony went for £2.1 million in London in 2003. The composer was originally paid just £100 for the whole composition.

  • John Lennon's custom made Rolls Royce - painted with colourful, psychedelic patterns - fetched $2,230,000 at auction in 1985. However, some predict it could sell for more than $20 million if it went on sale again today.


Photo: Sotheby's