- Art & Antiques
- Entertainment & Music
Press Release - January 31, 2011
Mint Condition factory-sealed Beatles ‘Butcher Cover’ mono LP could bring record price at Heritage Auctions
Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Holly artifacts highlight Feb. 18-19 Music & Entertainment event at Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – A factory-sealed First State copy of The Beatles’ famously banned “Butcher Cover” mono LP , Yesterday and Today, without a doubt the Holy Grail of vinyl, is expected to bring $30,000+ when it comes up as part of Heritage Auctions Feb. 18-19 Signature® Music & Entertainment Auction.
“There are likely less than 25 sealed copies of this record in existence,” said Garry Shrum, Consignment Director for Music & Entertainment Auctions at Heritage, “and that’s probably a generous estimate. More than that, we’ve never seen a copy in such great condition, and we sold a ‘Livingston Copy’ of the ‘Butcher Cover’ in 2006 for more than $38,000. That price is, to date, the highest amount ever realized for a piece of wide release, non-autographed vinyl. This may well exceed that.”
Many serious collectors of Fab Four memorabilia have diligently searched for even a tattered copy of this rarity, which was pulled from record store shelves in the US almost immediately after its release in 1966, ordered to be destroyed and replaced by the more subdued "Trunk Cover" version. Millions bought the second version, but few managed a copy of the infamous original, let alone one that remained sealed.
“This ‘Butcher Cover’ is rare enough in and of itself in good condition,” said Shrum, “but to have it sealed is mind-boggling. Who has ever bought a Beatles record and not opened it?”
The Entertainment section of the auction features the red-and-white striped thermal underwear worn by Marilyn Monroe, most likely in between takes on set while filming 1956’s Bus Stop in Idaho (estimate: $5,000+), which appear alongside Don Murray's screen-worn costume coat from Bus Stop (estimate: $3,000+). The thermals and the coat were both selected by wardrobe master Ed Wynigear (Viva Zapata!, Les Miserables, King of the Khyber Rifles), from whose estate these, along with many other pieces in the auction, originate.
A Black Star Sapphire ring once owned and worn by Elvis Presley will offer a glittering enticement to an advanced rock music collector as it becomes the latest piece of the King’s jewelry to come up for auction. The 14k gold ring was worn by Elvis in the 1970s and later given as a gift to his tour promoter, Tom Hulett, and is expected to bring $15,000+. Rock and Roll royalty is further represented by a very rare Buddy Holly-signed Royal Theatre Contract from 1957 for a weeklong series of performances at the Royal Theatre in Baltimore. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $15,000+.
An intriguing and rare single-owner set of Beatles autographs from Aug. 23, 1964, obtained by an Air France employee when the band arrived in Los Angeles from London for their Aug. 23 concert at the Hollywood Bowl is expected to bring $10,000+ when it comes on the block. Autographs by the entire band, on a single sheet, are highly sought-after as the band, by 1964, was not signing many autographs at all, and had stopped signing autographs altogether by 1969.
Here’s how the consignor, that very same Air France employee, describes it:
"I was working for Air France and found myself in the US immigration office, where I was delivering the general declaration,” he wrote. “I was surprised to be suddenly asked by an immigration officer to quickly enter one of the offices for my protection, due to the invasion of enthusiastic Beatles fans. In those days, not much security was in place and a crowd of people had penetrated the area. The immigration officers... probably thought I was accompanying the Beatles. So I was stuck with them and we spent 20 minutes, just the five of us, in the small office waiting for the crowd to be sent away. We talked about their upcoming concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and I figured I might as well ask them for the autographs, which they graciously gave to me."
Billie Holiday’s "This Is It" handwritten lyrics, a very rare example of handwritten lyrics by Lady Day provides a jazzy coda to the auction with a $2,500+ pre-auction estimate, while tragic actor Ross Alexander's costume from the 1935 film of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream in the role of Demetrius, may well be shaping up to be the sleeper of the auction, with a building pre-auction buzz and an estimate of $500+. The role of Demetrius, along with one in Captain Blood (also in 1935), were highlights of the rising young actor's career, who committed suicide at age 29, using the same gun his first wife, Aleta Freel, had used to take her own life with just 13 months earlier.
It will be of particular interest to Entertainment Memorabilia collectors to note the depth of storied Hollywood names represented in this auction, as anchored by the above-mentioned Ed Wynigear Estate Archive – which also provides Wynigear's personal Wardrobe Photo Archive with Costume Sketches from Cleopatra(estimate: $1,000+), one of the most ambitious film projects of all time.
Further collections include The Elle Elliot Collection, who passed in 2009 and worked as a makeup artist and hair stylist on 40 films during her career, including more than a dozen productions as personal stylist for Kevin Costner, the continuing Edgar G. Ulmer Archive, one of Hollywood’s greatest Noir filmmakers and the amazing Bud Westmore Collection, featuring important highlights from Westmore’s brilliant and legendary 40+ years as a makeup artist wherein he practiced and perfected his craft of making men and women more handsome, beautiful, or hideous than a Higher Power had decreed.
Additional highlights of the Entertainment portion of the auction include Bing Crosby's Fishing Basket and Gear – Crosby was an avid angler who often fished while at his Nevada ranch – estimated at $1,500+, and Marlon Brando’s contact lenses, likely worn in the 1952 Elia Kazan biopic Viva Zapata!for which Brando earned his second Academy Award nomination, from the Bud Westmore Collection. They carry an estimate of $800+.
“For those who know their classic Hollywood history,” said Kristen Painter, Manager of Music and Entertainment auctions at Heritage, “it doesn’t get much better than these archives. There are very few collectors who won’t find temptation everywhere they look in these collections, and they’ll do well to give in to it. These pieces are not likely to come back on the market for some time.”
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.
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