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John Lennon-Owned, Beatles-Signed “Butcher Cover” LP Goes for $234,000 at Auction

JUNE 14: "The Butcher" version of the album cover for rock and roll band "The Beatles" album entitled "Yesterday And Today" which was released on June 14, 1966. (L-R) John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In 1966, the Beatles released Yesterday and Today, a collection of assorted songs aimed at North American audience with some of the most memorable album art the band ever produced. Known to fans and collectors as the “butcher cover,” the album is adorned with a bizarre image of the band’s four members covered in meat and nude baby dolls as if to be cutting up the babies. This week, an autographed copy of the rare album once owned by John Lennon went up for auction earlier this week, where it sold for $234,000.

The rare album was the crown jewel at Julien’s Auctions’ The Beatles in Liverpool auction this week. As Rolling Stone points out, the record contains signatures from three of the band’s four members, with a back cover sketch drawn by John Lennon.

“This was a world record for a Beatles Butcher cover and the third highest price paid for a vinyl,” Julien’s Auctions president and CEO Darren Julien said in a statement. “The market is still developing so we anticipate in the next five years this same record could bring $500,000 plus.”

The statement also notes that the Lennon-owned copy of the record was “displayed on the wall of John’s Dakota apartment in New York City before being signed and given to Beatles fan Dave Morrell, in a trade to obtain the reel-to-reel recording of Yellow Matter Custard that Morrell owned.”

The auction house also said that the buyer was an American collector, but has otherwise asked to remain anonymous. The event saw over 300 Beatles rarities up for auction including a baseball bat signed by all for bandmates at their last U.S. performance in San Francisco, a signed poster from Liverpool Airport announcing the “Visit of The Beatles,” and an acoustic guitar signed by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Buddy Holly. Find more details about the sale over on the Julien’s Auctions website.

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