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George Harrison’s jacket tops The Beatles lots at Bonhams

15 December 2012Written by Ivan Macquisten

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 £50,000 hammer.

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, 1971.

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 £19,000.

The buyer's premium was 25/20/12%.

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