A rare copy of The Beatles' 1967 album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" personally signed by all the four members fetched a record-breaking $290,500 when it was sold at the Dallas-based Heritage Auctions on Saturday, March 30. The unnamed seller, who estimated that the album would sell for $30,000, walked away with a fortune from an anonymous buyer from the Midwest.
The recent purchase beats the previous record of $150,000 paid for a signed "Meet the Beatles" 1964 album copy. Early bidding for the U.K. Parlophone copy of the album with a high gloss cover and gatefold had pushed the price already past $110,000 with a week to go before the actual auction.
The amount just kept on increasing until the bidding had "taken on a life of its own," according to Gary Shrum, consignment director of the auction. The remarkable bids were attributed to the particularly high quality of the autograph on the album copy, which the auction described as "pristine." Each Beatle had signed next to his image on the inside spread of the LP.
Beatles memorabilia expert Perry Cox first commented on the prime auction piece, "With my being thoroughly immersed in Beatles collectibles for over 30 years, it takes something extraordinarily special to excite me, but I consider this to be one of the top two items of Beatles memorabilia I've ever seen -- the other being a signed copy of Meet The Beatles."