When it comes to rock and pop memorabilia, and The Beatles in particular, if the provenance is not only right but of the first magnitude, prices can soar.
No surprise, then, that all eyes were on
Bonhams' 14-lot consignment from the Harrison family
collection, most particularly on the leather jacket featured as
worn by George in so many of The Beatles' early and most iconic
promotional photographs, including the one on the catalogue cover,
showing him with John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe, guitars in hand
and slicked quiffs atop their heads.
The jacket was the guitarist's costume of choice
for The Cavern and the Hamburg tour. Bonhams estimated it at
£90,000-120,000 for their sale in Knightsbridge on December 12 and
it came in just over the low end at £91,000.
Attracting as much attention, as it turned out,
was Harrison's signature Beatle Boots from around 1964. The Chelsea
boot design was adopted by the band when their manager, Brian
Epstein, reportedly persuaded them to give up the leathers in
favour of collarless suits. Guided at £12,000-15,000, they shot to
For the most part, the Harrison family lots went
over or even trounced their estimates, with only a couple failing
to sell. Other notable highlights among them included the
Western-style orange shirt George wore for the Concert for
Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden, New York on August 1,
Credited with being the first charity
fundraising venture of its type and leading to later, much bigger
successes such as Live Aid, the event is seen as an historical
landmark. As such, Harrison's stage costume has even more cachet
and the shirt left its £6000-8000 guide behind to sell at
The buyer's premium was 25/20/12%.