BEVERLY HILLS, CA.-
A cardboard garden gnome that appears on the covers of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and was signed by all members of the band after Peter Blake's legendary photo shoot for the album cover, is expected to bring more than $25,000 when it crosses the block on April 18, 2015, in Heritage Auctions
' Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature® Auction in Beverly Hills.
"This is a true rarity and a cornerstone piece of any Beatles collection," said Dean Harmeyer, Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions. "Designer Peter Blake worked with the Beatles to stage the cover of Sgt. Pepper's, which was filled with life-size cardboard likenesses of famous figures Mae West, Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando behind the Beatles. Among the smaller items in the foreground was this garden gnome, which appears just to the right of George's leg."
The gnome was chosen as a memento by an assistant to photographer Michael Cooper when the cover shoot ended on March 30, 1967 and was signed by the Beatles immediately following the session. It comes in two parts, front and back, and was signed by the band on the back.
A musical legend of a whole other type provides the next highlight as Heritage offers a 1980s-era Liberace owned and played Baldwin Model R Grand Piano (estimate: $15,000+), one of the 12 pianos which were sold in the auction of the flamboyant entertainer's estate in 1988. According to Harmeyer, this is the first time one of them the pianos has re-surfaced since the initial 1988 sale, making this a very rare opportunity to own one of Liberace's prized possessions. A true grand piano with a stunning black lacquer finish, it is in Very Good overall condition and has been regularly played and professionally serviced.
The greats of Punk Rock and New Wave music continue to gain traction in the collectibles market, as their legacy is cemented by the passing of decades and the influx of new fans. One of the very greatest of these early bands is undisputedly The Ramones, and a real treasure relating to the band has surfaced for auction in the form of the original 1979 William Stout artwork for the movie poster to Rock n Roll High School (estimate: $5,000+), the seminal Punk Rock cult classic that bridged the gap between punks of the late 1970s and those of the early 1980s just cutting their teeth on the music.
On the day following Stevie Ray Vaughan's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Heritage will offer a twice-signed lime green 1988 Fender re-issue of the 1957 Stratocaster (estimate: $3,000+). The signatures were obtained by a determined fan on July 28, 1989, at Riverfest in St. Paul, MN, who got the legendary Texas bluesman to sign the piece twice on the same day.
A special Beatles selection in the auction includes four exceedingly rare lots of animation art relating to The Beatles Cartoon Series (estimates: from $800+ up to $3,000+), which ran on ABC-TV from 1965 to 1967. Included are original production cels, background art, storyboards, and more, which originally came from the collection of veteran animator Frank Andrina, who gifted them to renowned animation sculptor Kent Melton in the 1990s, who has consigned them to the auction.
The process of animating the shows was highly decentralized and spread across several countries to expedite the process, which has made original material from the Beatles cartoon exceedingly difficult to find and very uncommon at auction. In fact, the mini-archive presented here represents more total material from The Beatles Cartoon Series than Heritage has offered in its total history.
One of the hardest sets of autographs to find is the original lineup for the Rolling Stones, with original guitarist Brian Jones. Heritage will be offering just such a set in the form of a signed 1964 US Tour Program, a rare grouping on the second version of the tour guide produced for the Stones' first US tour, as the first had mistakenly mixed up the photos of Brian Jones and Mick Jagger.
The autographs come from the Estate of Timothy D. Kehr, a concert promoter that brought the Stones to Minneapolis to perform at the Excelsior Amusement Park in June 1964.
Fans of 1980s and 1990s hard rock will appreciate the inclusion in the auction of a pair of Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee's stage-worn faux leather studded underwear with suspenders (estimate: $1,000), worn by the rock n roll bon vivant many times throughout the two year Dr. Feelgood Tour, the Crüe's fifth album. Anyone that followed the band, or saw them live, knows that Lee famously did not like to wear restrictive clothing when he played the drums. Needless to say, this garment offers very little in the way of resistance to the wearer.