Fresh-to-market Beatles autographs

Three sets of fresh-to-market Beatles autographs will be auctioned at Leicestershire-based Gildings Auctioneers during in the week of the 60th anniversary of the Fab Four’s first appearance in Leicester at De Montfort Hall on March 31, 1963. The concert was the final date of a UK theatre tour that saw The Beatles rise from the bottom to the top of a bill of seven acts, heralding the start of Beatlemania.

One set of autographs was collected by the vendor’s father. As the Police Chief Constable’s driver, he was given the honour of driving the Fab Four back to their hotel following a concert at Newcastle City Hall on November 23, 1963. The autographs, which are estimated at £600-£1,000, are signed on a police charge sheet as it was the only piece of paper he had to hand at the time.

Another set of Beatles signatures in the sale are signed on both the front and back of an early publicity photograph of the band. Due to the signs of folding and wear and tear on the image, these autographs are estimated at £300-£500.

The final set of signatures, offered in good condition, was given to the seller by her then-boyfriend. He went to the same school as some members of the band and gave the autographs as a present to the vendor around 1964.

“We’re delighted to be offering these unique sets of Beatles autographs,” commented Gildings’ memorabilia specialist Andrew Smith. “The three very different examples all represent a snapshot in time of how those lucky enough to be presented with the opportunity to get an autograph from The Beatles seized it, on whatever surface was available. As a result, we expect these treasured signatures of the Fab Four to attract a great deal of interest among Beatles fans and autograph and memorabilia collectors alike.”

The auction also includes a Selcol toy Beatles guitar and a selection of rock, pop and progressive rock including Half Blood, a rare LP by a lesser known but much-admired Liverpool musician, Jimmy Campbell. There is also a selection of Bang & Olufsen home audio equipment in the sale.

The sale takes place on April 4.