It has been 50 years since The Beatles were featured in the motion picture Help! and the accompanying soundtrack hit record store shelves. But as popular as the movie and the soundtrack were at the time of the 1960s release, no one could predict the value of some of the memorabilia connected to them. A jacket worn during the filming of Help! fetched $46,500 this week in an online auction conducted by RR Auction entitled Marvels of Modern Music.
The black, double-breasted wool jacket is adorned with six black buttons, soft gray pinstriping, and “Ringo” sewn on the inside.
The buyer is an unnamed “top rock ‘n’ roll collector in Rhode Island,” according to a report on MSN.
Ringo’s wool jacket isn’t the first bit of Beatles memorabilia from Help! to fetch big bucks. Two jackets worn by George Harrison and Ringo Starr were sold during a 2014 auction conducted by Omega Auctions in Liverpool. The jackets, worn during the filming of Help! and also featured on the cover of the motion picture soundtrack, went for more than ₤135,000 combined, according to Gigwise.
One of the largest pieces of Beatles memorabilia ever auctioned from Help! is a 1907 Bechstein concert grand piano that came from the private collection of director Richard Lester, who directed the Fab Four in Help! as well as A Hard Day’s Night.
The piano was used during the filming of Help! but holds additional musical significance.
“When coming to the end of the shooting of the film, Paul was spending a lot of time at the piano, composing and fine tuning ‘Yesterday’, or the ‘Scrambled Egg’ song as it was originally entitled by Paul,” said Lester in an interview with the London Evening Standard.
The piano sold for ₤57,500.
A collection of autographs and photos acquired during the filming of Help! by Beatles’ super-fan Gwyn Blanchard were auctioned in 2009 to purchase a trip for her great-grandchildren.
Blanchard and her husband anticipated the sale of The Beatles’ memorabilia to yield approximately ₤300; they sold for ₤2,200, according to Prefix.
The Beatles’ memorabilia from Help! have auctioned for big bucks, but by no means are they the items that have garnered the highest monetary yield for their owners.
A copy of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, autographed by all four members of The Beatles, was listed for sale by Dallas auction house Heritage Auctions at a starting price of $30,000. The hammer fell on the nostalgic vinyl album, with a final sale price of $290,500, well over what the Heritage Auctions had anticipated.
“I consider this to be one for the top two items of Beatles’ memorabilia I’ve ever seen – the other being a signed copy of ‘Meet the Beatles’,” said Beatles expert Perry Cox in an interview with ABC News.
One of the highest-priced pieces of Beatles’ memorabilia ever purchased is John Lennon’s 1965 psychedelic Rolls Royce Phantom V, which sold in 1985 for $2.23 million.
[Image courtesy of Express/Getty Images and The Beatles.com]