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The ‘world’s rarest Beatles album’ sold at auction for record price


John Lennon’s personal copy of a Beatles album Yesterday and Today with accompanying hand-drawn sketches has been sold for £180,000 at auction.

The eye-watering figure means the album becomes the third-highest price ever paid for a vinyl record.

The rare pre-production copy of the record features the infamous butcher cover – thought to be one of the only remaining copies in the world after management ordered the controversial cover to be destroyed – was sold by Julien’s Auctions.

Darren Julien, the acting president of the auction house, said: “The market is still developing so we anticipate in the next five years this same record could bring $500,000-plus (£385,000),” upon its sale.

He added: “This was a world record for a Beatles butcher cover and the third-highest price paid for a vinyl.”

The cover is signed ‘To Dave, from John Lennon’ dated December 7, 1971 after Lennon handed the record to Beatles fan and collector, Dave Morrell, in exchange for some memorabilia and bootleg material.

Gary Shrum, a director of music memorabilia at Heritage Auctions, previously said: ‘The term world-class is probably a bit over-used in describing collectibles, however, labelling this unique, rare, and desirable Beatles item as world-class is not hyperbole.

‘This piece is rare because one it’s the butcher cover that was withdrawn and never sold on the market after the second day. It’s John Lennon’s personal copy, it’s a prototype that had a blank back, which John did artwork on the back of.

‘Plus it’s a stereo copy which was the rarest of the butcher covers, because only a few stereo copies got out when they were for sale.

‘So this is a brilliant piece for any Beatles collector or Rock and Roll collector that likes to collect the history of music.’