George Harrisons black leather jacket, worn on stage during numerous early 1960s Beatles appearances, was the top lot in Bonhams
Entertainment Memorabilia sale, yesterday 12th December 2012, making £110,450.
Bidders in the saleroom and on the phone competed fiercely for the jacket, which is one of the most important items of Beatles clothing ever to come onto the market. It was among several lots from the George Harrison Collection, with highlights marking the £624,619 sale, which sold 86 per cent by value. The collection, which has never been available to the general public, was gifted by George Harrison to his brother Harry and other members of the family.
In addition to the iconic jacket, a pair of Georges Beatle boots far exceeded expectations selling for £61,250 against a pre-sale estimate of £12,000 15,000. The boots are synonymous with the bands style at the height of Beatlemania in 1964 and Harrison can be clearly seen wearing an identical pair during the filming of A Hard Days Night.
Another key item from the George Harrison Collection also sold well over the pre-sale estimate. A bright orange western-style shirt worn during his famous charity event, The Concert For Bangladesh, 1971 realised £23,750 against a pre-sale estimate of £6,000 8,000.
Exceptional prices were also achieved for other Beatles items, including the guitar used by Paul McCartney during the 1950s as a member of the pre-Beatles group The Quarry Men. Accompanied by a signed letter of provenance from McCartney, the guitar sold for £43,250 against a pre-sale estimate of £20,000 25,000.
Stephanie Connell, Head of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams said: We had some fantastic results for one of the greatest collections of Beatles memorabilia in the world. There was an incredible buzz in the saleroom and it was exciting to see the high levels of interest in the George Harrison Collection.
The sale represented some of the most important pieces of Beatles memorabilia ever seen at auction and the high prices go to show that the market for these rare items has never been stronger. The leather jacket and Beatle boots are instantly recognisable as key items of Beatles history and were delighted they generated so much attention.