Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
This undated photo provided by Sotheby’s shows an untitled ink drawing by John Lennon of a guitar player. It is part of an 89-piece collection of Lennon’s original whimsical drawings, poems and prose for his books “In His Own Write” and “A Spaniard in the Works” that was auctioned by Sotheby's in New York on Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Sotheby's, John Lennon)
Imagine all the artwork: John Lennon trove auctioned
First Published Jun 04 2014 10:04 am • Last Updated Jun 04 2014 10:53 am

New York • Whimsical drawings, poems and short stories from two humorous books John Lennon produced in the 1960s fetched skyrocketing prices at auction Wednesday, including $209,000 for a nine-page parody of Sherlock Holmes.

The manuscript, "The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield," was the top lot in the sale and had been estimated to bring $50,000 to $70,000.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The material was created for the two critically acclaimed books Lennon published during the height of Beatlemania. Sotheby’s said 100 percent of the 89 lots sold, with 83 percent selling above the pre-sale high estimate.

"In his Own Write" was a collection of 31 short stories and poems full of puns and spelling errors that was published in 1964. It was a big hit with reviewers who compared Lennon to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. It was followed a year later by "A Spaniard in the Works," its title a pun on the British term "a spanner in the works," similar to the American expression "a monkey wrench in the works."

The collection belonged to Lennon’s British publisher, Tom Maschler, who held on to it for a half-century. Sotheby’s described it as the largest private collection of the Beatles’ work to come to market. Before becoming famous as a musician, Lennon, who was fatally shot in 1980, trained as an artist at the Liverpool School of Art.

A cartoon of a boy with six birds that appeared in "A Spaniard in the Works" sold for $27,500 on Wednesday. The drawing was used 30 years later as the cover for the Beatles’ single "Free as a Bird."

The song was written by Lennon in 1977. Twenty-five years after the group’s breakup and 15 years after Lennon’s death, it was released with additional instrumentation and vocals from the other three band members in 1995. The cartoon had a pre-sale estimate of $12,000 to $15,000.

"The Fat Budgie," a beloved nonsensical poem with the title written on the margin, sold for $143,000, well past its $35,000 pre-sale estimate.

A handwritten manuscript called "I Sat Belonely" went for $137,000, surpassing its pre-sale estimate of up to $35,000. And a corrected typescript titled "Neville Club" sold for $100,000, way above its high estimate of $12,000.

Maschler called Lennon a man of "extraordinary talent and imagination." He said in a statement that Lennon’s art has been underrated and he hoped that the auction would "redress the balance."


story continues below
story continues below

Maschler, who worked with Lennon on the two books while literary director at Jonathan Cape publishers, has worked with other famous authors, including Tom Wolfe, Edward Albee, Philip Roth and Salman Rushdie.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.