More than 350 previously unseen photos of The Beatles at two early US shows have fetched £253,200 at auction. A total lot of 413 negatives were sold with copyright by Omega Auctions in Newton-Le-Willows, Lancashire. Only 46 of those have been seen before, when they were auctioned in 2011.
Photographer Mike Mitchell captured The Beatles arriving at the venues, at pre-show press conferences and on stage in Washington, DC, and Baltimore in 1964. He then photographed the band at their first ever US concert, at Washington Coliseum, on 11 February 1964 – two days after their famous appearance on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show.
Mitchell was just 18 when The Beatles first came to the US and he took the photos in natural light because he couldn’t afford a flash. He was on hand again when they played Baltimore Civic Centre on 13 September 1964, and managed to clamber onstage to get a better vantage point.
“I was very motivated to come up with stuff that was as unique as could possibly be,” he told the BBC. “I looked and noticed that nobody was up on the stage. I thought, I wonder what it would be like to be up on the stage and see what I could get up there.”
“This is an incredible archive. The unique combination of perspective and light sets them apart from any other Beatles photographs of that period,” Omega auctioneer Paul Fairweather said of the lot in a statement. “This was reflected in prices achieved for a small selection of prints in 2011, so for the entire archive to be sold with copyright, this is a unique opportunity for collectors and investors alike.”
Additionally, a black Mercedes AMG George Harrison bought in 1984 sold for £43,200 at the Omega auction. The black Mercedes 500 SEL AMG was bought by Harrison in 1984 for £85,000 and he owned it for 16 years. It featured in the official video for the song ‘Real Love’.
Other items sold in Newton-le-Willows included a signed hotel register from a night at The Bull in Peterborough, which all four musicians signed, along with manager Brian Epstein, and which sold for £9,840.
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