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A new collection of Beatles auctioned off

The Beatles are at the heart of an exceptional auction this Saturday, March 18 in Paris. The Drouot auction house presents the original collection of a great quartet specialist.

Alternative covers of the Sgt Pepper’s album, original photos of the Abbey Road album, letters signed by the British… Fans of the mythical band from Liverpool will be delighted. The Drouot auction house is auctioning off hundreds of pieces by Jacques Volcouve, a French collector and Beatles fan, on Saturday 18 March in Paris. His unpublished collection includes vinyl records, CDs, books, videos, posters, slides and other products recounting the quartet’s career.

“On the initial cover of Sgt Pepper‘s, there was supposed to be Mahatma Gandhi but the EMI producer, Joseph Lookwood, didn’t want to have any problems with the Indians,” says this collector, Jacques Volcouve, who sells eleven of these alternative covers to the final edition, famous for the gallery of characters appearing behind the group. A lot estimated between 10 and 15 000 €.

Photographer Ian MacMillan, summoned to do the cover of Abbey Road (1969), where the group is seen crossing the street on a pedestrian crossing, will take six photos. Five draws were not selected “because the Beatles did not walk in the same rhythm,” says the collector. These prints, sold together, are also estimated at between €10,000 and €15,000. “Just once, they were synchronized and the photo became that of the disc,” adds Jacques Volcouve, who will offer more than 330 lots for sale.

Two very rare covers of the 33-rpm The Beatles Yesterday and Today, released only in the United States in 1966, are estimated at between 3 and 6,000 euros. In France, another cover is particularly popular, that of the four titles From Me To You, released in 1964. A cover specially made for a French pressing after their visit to the Olympia: the Beatles pose there in French-types with beret, kepi, bicorne and baguette in hand… This record, estimated at between 3 000 and 5 000 € is a rarity, because “very few published and marketed” according to the collector.

Posters, letters and objects of all kinds, for all tastes and at all prices will also be on sale. Why should we part with it? “This collection I no longer owned, it was she who owned me,” says Jacques Volcouve.

A well-known fanatic

Jacques Volcouve has been infected with the Beatlemania virus since he discovered the album Sgt Pepper’s. Co-founder of the Club des 4 de Liverpool, an association with up to 1,500 members, he also organized the Beatles’ Show from 1973 to 1991, film festivals featuring classic films and rare documents. In forty years, this fanatic has established himself as one of the best experts in the group he has met several times, with the exception of John Lennon.

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