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Issue: July at  18 July 2013

Unique collection of Beatles' photographic prints set to come under the hammer

A significant collection of largely unpublished photographic prints spanning The Beatles' entire career is set to come under the hammer at Cuttlestones' Wolverhampton Auction Rooms on Friday, 16 August 2013.

Capturing performances, intimate off-stage moments and tour images of the band during the years that they dominated the world charts, the images were taken by official Beatles photographer Derek Cooper during his 13 year association with the band.

What makes these photographs so rare is the fact that they remained undiscovered until some ten years after the photographer's death, when two films were found in cameras bequeathed by Cooper to a childhood friend in Liverpool. When the negatives were investigated, to the great surprise of all concerned, they contained a total of 34 photographs of The Beatles. Since their discovery, the images have been the subject of several exhibitions in Liverpool, the US and Japan and a single print, signed by Ringo Starr, sold at auction.

This, however, is the 1st time that prints of these negatives are being sold on the open market; representing an exceptional opportunity for Beatles fans to acquire a genuinely unique photographic record of the iconic band. Wolverhampton Sale Room Manager, Tom Waldron, says:- "We are honoured to have the opportunity to sell such a rare collection; due to the band's massive fame most images of them have been extensively re-produced so, when these negatives were originally discovered, it was a real treasure trove. They have since been displayed as part of official exhibitions across the globe, but never before has the vendor consigned prints on this scale for sale; so this really is a unique opportunity."

As to how a Liverpool-based vendor came to be selling such a rare collection of images through a West Midlands auction house, Tom says:- "The vendor heard me being interviewed on BBC Radio Merseyside earlier this year about the sale of a letter from John Lennon's Aunt 'Mimi' Smith, decided to approach us regarding the sale of prints from his collection – and the rest is history. Due to The Beatles' global fanbase, we anticipate that there will be huge International interest in these lots, so the majority of bidders will probably be active on the phone lines or bidding live on the internet."

The photographs being offered for sale are being split into two lots. The 1st will comprise 40 photographic prints of the band in various situations through the 1960's to the early 1970's; 34 of which are those discovered on Derek Cooper's camera films and six from other sources. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Star all feature in shots that range from formal portraits to informal back stage, tour and performance images. This represents the opportunity to procure a significant, largely unpublished collection the majority of which have, as yet, only been available for public viewing while on exhibition.

Cuttlestones' Tom Waldron with some of the prints of The Beatles that are set to sell in Wolverhampton on Friday, 16 August 2013

The 2nd lot consists of 2 unpublished photographic prints depicting variously John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr from Derek Cooper's negatives alongside 2 images from another source featuring John in performance with Rolling Stones' members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Measuring 33 cm x H. 48 cm these prints have been stylishly framed and glazed, and would no doubt make a welcome adornment to the wall of any discerning Beatles fan.

The lots will come under the hammer on Friday, 16 August 2013 during Cuttlestones' next Specialist Collectors' Auction at its Wolverhampton Auction Rooms. Viewing will take place the day prior to and on the morning of the sale and, for those unable to attend on the day, live online, telephone and commission bidding options are available. For further information call:- 01902 421985.

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