Fans of the Beatles will be given to a chance to own a piece of the band’s history when a set of rare color photos hits the auction block.
The photographs, which have never been published, were snapped during the Beatles’ first United States tour in August of 1964. The photos were taken during a time when color film was considered to be a costly purchase, making the vibrantly colored pictures a rarity.
Prior to 1965 most images featuring the Beatles were taken with black and white film. Color photographs of the band did not become fairly common until the band’s popularity grew during the 1965 to 1966 span of their career.
An article by Rolling Stone writes that the rare set of color slides were shot by Dr Robert “Bob” Beck, an award-winning physicist. Upon his death in 2002, Dr. Beck left behind a substantial archive of slides and photographs which were later found in his Hollywood, California home.
The 65 slides going up for auction feature many stage performance captures of the legendary band. Included among the photos are shots of band member George Harrison sporting his red Rickenbacker guitar, made famous by its appearance in the Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night.
In addition to the performance photos, other slides offer close-up portraits of band members taken at the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel during a press conference. Also included in the batch are shots from a Beverly Hills private party hosted by Alan Livingston, president of Capital Records at the time.
Ernie Sutton, a spokesperson for the British Beatles Fan Club, spoke to BBC News about the rare find:
“These photographs show The Beatles during their 1964 US tour, both on and off-stage. New photographs that emerge of The Beatles are always of interest to the fans, but with the majority of photographs from this tour in black and white, it is a delight to see color photographs from that historic tour.”
Fans will have their chance to bid on the slides when they are auctioned on March 22, 2013 by Omega Auctions in Stockport, Cheshire. The auction date coincides with the 50 year anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ first album.