Sgt. Pepper drum skin sold for over £540,000

The iconic hand-painted drum skin seen on the sleeve of the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was sold for £541,250 at auction today – almost four times the expected price of £150,000.

 

The drum skin – which was placed at the centre of the album cover – is believed to have been designed by fairground artist Joe Ephgrave.

 

What is probably the world’s most famous drum skin proved to be the star attraction at Christie’s latest Rock and Pop Memorabilia sale in London.

 

Another star lot was John Lennon’s handwritten manuscript for his song ‘Give Peace a Chance’. The lyrics sold for more than £420,000 – well above the pre-sale estimate of £300,000.

 

The lyrics were sold by comedy writer Gail Renard who obtained them during Lennon’s eight-day “bed-in for peace” with Yoko Ono at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel in May 1969.

 

Lennon scribbled the lyrics on a piece of cardboard with a black marker before recording the song in the hotel suite with Yoko and an eclectic mix of personalities.

 

Renard, who was only 16 at the time, says Lennon gave her the lyrics himself, telling her they would be worth something one day. How right he was!

 

Also at the Rock and Pop Memorabilia auction, a rare 1968 recording of the Jimi Hendrix Experience performing at the Woburn Music Festival – at Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire – sold for £48,050.

 

A 1966 Marshall amplifier – used by Hendrix in concert between 1967 and 1969 – sold for £25,000, while a pair of his striped flared trousers made £20,000.

 

A 1967 Gibson guitar previously owned by The Who’s Pete Townshend sold for £32,450.

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