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Sotheby’s Rock & Pop Sale 2015

The highlight of the sale was The Beatle’s signed managerial contract with Brian Epstein, dated 1 October, 1962, which sold for £365,000. This historic document is the only managerial contract signed between The Beatles and Epstein after the formation of the group’s final line-up. The contract was signed in Epstein’s office in the NEM’s shop in Liverpool by all four Beatles, Epstein and witnessed by his secretary Beryl Adams – as Paul McCartney and George Harrison were both under 21, their fathers had to co-sign the contract. This contract was first sold at Christie’s South Kensington on 5 May 2004, for £122,850.

Sarah and Carey outside Sotheby’s in front of Sotheby’s Rock Auction Display, September 2015

Sarah and Carey outside Sotheby’s in front of Sotheby’s Rock Auction Display, September 2015

Another notable highlight was Eric Clapton’s custom-built Signature Model Fender Stratocaster in Daphne Blue finish, 2009, used extensively on stage between 2009 until autumn 2011, which realised £45,000.

Eric Clapton’s custom-built Signature Model Fender Stratocaster in Daphne Blue finish, 2009 realised £45,000

Eric Clapton’s custom-built Signature Model Fender Stratocaster in Daphne Blue finish, 2009 realised £45,000

For Cream fans, there was a rare opportunity to acquire instruments and clothing belonging to Jack Bruce. The highlight of this collection, was his Warwick Fretless Thumb Bass guitar, 1989, which sold for £9,750. It was played by Bruce during an appearance with Eric Clapton on the BBC’s South Bank Show in 1987, and on the 1989 US tour with Ginger Baker and Blues Saraceno. The 36-lot collection totalled £61,401.

 A selection of Jack Bruce’s guitars on display at Sotheby’s Rocks, September, 2015

A selection of Jack Bruce’s guitars on display at Sotheby’s Rocks, September, 2015

In September 2015, Sotheby’s will be holding a trio of sales, Sotheby’s Rocks, comprising Rock & Pop and Prints & Multiples, both on 29th September and Made In Britain on 30th September.

We are delighted to have been working as consultants on the Rock & Pop sale, for this, their first such sale of Rock & Pop to be held in London for over a decade.  This sale follows on from the outstanding success of the John Lennon Drawings & Manuscripts auction in New York in June 2014, and the Rock & Pop auction just a few days later, which saw the record-breaking sale of Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics for “Like A Rolling Stone”, which sold for just over $2 million.

The forthcoming sale offers some outstanding lyrics, including Dylan’s typescript and annotated lyrics for “It’s A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”, with Dylan’s handwritten revisions revealing a fascinating insight into his creative process, estimate £150,000–200,000.  The final working manuscript for these lyrics was sold by Sotheby’s in New York for $400,000 in 2014. Also included are Bruce Springsteen’s handwritten lyrics for “Jungleland”, released on his third breakthrough album Born To Run, estimate £20,000-30,000. This is the first time both sets of lyrics have been offered on the open market.

The sale offers a diverse range of material from unreleased Oscar Peterson compositions, to Tupac Shakur handwritten lyrics.  Also included is The Jack Bruce Collection including the great rock musician’s favourite bass guitar,  stage worn clothing, handwritten lyrics & musical manuscripts;  Also legendary guitarist Eric Clapton’s  Daphne Blue Fender Stratocaster, used between 2009 to 2011, the twin to that sold by Bonhams in New York in 2011 for $51,240, is offered with an estimate of £15,000-£25,000.

One of the most historically significant pieces in the sale is The Beatles’ First Management Contract with Brian Epstein, signed a few days before the release of their first single “Love Me Do” in 1962, estimate £300,000-£500,000. And the  highlight of the sale is The Abba Piano – the first major Abba piece to appear at auction, the piano features on their most celebrated songs from “Mamma Mia”, to “Waterloo”, “Dancing Queen” and “Money, Money, Money”. Estimate: £600,000-£800,000

For further information please see the attached press release:  Rock and Pop Press Release Sept 2015.pdf

The catalogue is available to view on line at www.sothebys.com

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