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Legendary Musician John Lennon's Iconic "White Suit" from Abbey Road to Be Auctioned
Two outfits worn by John Lennon that will be auctioned on New Year's Day at the Braswell Galleries in Norwalk, Conn. On the left is the suit Lennon wore in the photo on the cover of the The Beatles' Abbey Road album. On the right is a blazer he wore during his video for the song "Imagine." AP Photo/The Hour, Matthew Vinci.
NORWALK, CT.- No one could have foreseen the simple white suit Lennon wore to the famous Abbey Road recording studio was destined to become one of the most recognized, scrutinized, satirized and parodied garments in rock-n-roll folklore. The iconic two piece suit Lennon wore the morning the cover shot for the 1969 Abbey Road LP was taken has recently come on the market, along with the blazer Lennon wore in the 1971 Documentary for “Imagine”, and a Chrysler station wagon from the NYC Lennon-Ono household. These important items will be selling at Braswell Auction Galleries 26th annual New Years Day sale alongside many rare and one of a kind items from other notable estates.

The Abbey Road image is one of the most unforgettable album covers of all time and the famous shot for the final Beatles album took on a life of it’s own, sparking more controversy than most rock n roll photographs do by contributing to the morbidly fun urban legend “Paul is Dead” circulating at the time. These rumors alleged McCartney’s accidental death, and the subsequent cover up were cryptically revealed by clues found in the lyrics of and especially on the Abbey Road jacket cover image. The suit figured prominently, suggesting the cover shot was symbolic of Paul’s funeral procession with John dressed in white represented the clergy. Conspiracies aside, it would be difficult to overestimate the impact Ian McMullen’s famed shot of the four musicians crossing the zebra cross walk has had on countless Beatle fans. Forty years after first being published, the familiar image is so indelibly imprinted on the public imagination it serves as the catalyst for thousands of multi-generational Beatles fans to make the pilgrimage to the famed spot and pay homage. The world famous corner has such an enduring appeal that a dedicated webcam (www.abbeyroad.com) streams 24/7 as devoted fans disrupt traffic while striking the famous tableau.

As the recent acquisition of the Beatles portfolio of songs to Apple/iTunes and the current trippy Swedish video circulating on YouTube indicate the Beatles, and John Lennon’s popularity have not waned and interest in the auction is expected to be high. The one-of-a-kind Ted Lapidus suit and the blazer were previously sold by Julien’s Auction in 2005 to collector Anthony Puglisese, his collection was sold in 2008 at Gurnsey’s auction, and the current owner is divesting of his very large collection a few special pieces at a time. Braswell’s owner Gary Braswell says “Having property from John Lennon estate is a very special event, it’s exciting to be a part of it. The interest in the white suit, the “Imagine” jacket and the car transcend any kind of traditional category, we’re looking foreword to collectors from all over the spectrum to participate”.

Braswell Galleries will offer an unusual pen, ink and mixed media work by controversial artist Damien Hirst. Mr. Hirst, born June7th 1965 in Bristol, England, is an English artist, entrepreneur and art collector. He is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists who dominated the art scene in Britain during the 1990s. He is internationally renowned, and is reportedly Britain’s richest living artist to date. He is well represented in the major museums worldwide. Mr. Hirst’s central theme throughout his works is Death. This work features a mid 1990’s black ink drawing on paper of a male profile, the head outlined with stubbed out cigarette butts fastened to the paper with tape, signed lower right Damien Hirst.

Other examples of highlights in the annual New Years Day Auction are two rare, signed and numbered, untouched color photographs of a nude Marilyn Monroe taken by Bert Stern during the famous photo shoot known as “The Last Session”,a mixed media on paper portrait from controversial contemporary artist Damien Hirst, a pencil and gouache depicting performers on stage by German artist George Gorsz, and a magnificent antique intricately carved and detailed 9’ model of a cathedral. Many unique items from the estate of Pulitzer Prize winning author of the American classic “The Grapes of Wrath” John Steinbeck, including an etched Lalique charger depicting a tiger with quotes from the William Blake poem “Tyger, Tyger”, several autographed books and papers and personal items will be sure to generate interest. A large portfolio of never before documented watercolors and sketches by artist Jacque Lipshitz will be crossing the block as well as a fine, large bronze of horses and a jockey from French artist Leon Bureau.

Hundreds of lots of pieces of fine art, period antiques, estate Jewelry. 20th C, modern design, and quality estate items will make up the balance of the Braswell’s signature New Years Day sale.





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