Thursday, March 28, 2013 , Updated 4:44 p.m., March 31, 2013
UPDATED: Signed Sgt. Pepper’s album sells for whopping $300K
It was expected to sell for more than any other record signed by all four Beatles -- but the final price was much higher than anticipated.
DALLAS In the immortal words of the Rutles: All you need is cash — close to $150,000, at least.
That’s how much Oak Lawn-based Heritage Auctions now guesstimates it will get for a copy of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Just last week the auction house made international news when it announced that bidding had reached $110,500, including the buyer’s premium that goes back to Heritage. But this morning, a bidder pushed that number to $122,500. Heritage is now fairly confident the album will sell for close to $150,000, previously the most ever paid for a record signed by all four Beatles when a copy of Meet the Beatles was put on the block several years ago.
And to think: Heritage initially thought it would go for around $30,000. Bidding opened at the bargain-basement price of $15,000.
Overwhelmed by the reaction to the record, Heritage has decided to display the disc Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the first floor of its 3500 Maple Ave. HQ, along with other highlights from its March 30 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction that also includes autographed memorabilia from Marilyn Monroe and Led Zeppelin, among others, as well as Marlon Brandon’s Golden Globe award for On the Waterfront. (Bonus: The auction also includes a first printing of the Texas International Pop Festival poster.)
Noah Fleisher, Heritage’s director of public relations, says the Sgt. Pepper’s up for grabs come from a collector who bought it in ’84; for how much, he’s not sure. As the auction company’s consignment director, Gary Shrum, told the Associated Press last week, bidding on the album has “taken on a life of its own.” The reason, says Fleisher this morning: “It’s clear these are authentic; it’s incredibly, incredibly nice; and it’s clear the Beatles took a good amount of time when they signed this.”
Bidding on the signed Sgt. Pepper’s closes late Friday night, then reopens Saturday around 1:30 p.m. when Heritage begins its live auction on Maple Avenue, where the gallery’s usually packed with big-money spenders, bargain hunters, and spectators flabbergasted someone paid that much for anything. Friday night’s closing bid will be the opening number Saturday afternoon.
But one tip for those thinking about making an offer on the Beatles record: “Nobody can make a high bid that isn’t vetted,” says Fleisher. “You can say, ‘I want to pay $150,000,’ but we’ll make sure you’re capable of placing that bid.”
UPDATE: The album blew the $150,000 estimate out of the water: It sold for $290,500, Alan Peppard reports.
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