During the all-too-brief 10-year run of the Beatles, the world received some 200 songs that many of us can still sing and hum. Even greater volumes of Beatles memorabilia was cranked out to capitalize on the band’s extraordinary popularity. Today, many of these items of clothing, tableware, school supplies, trading cards, and jewelry are highly collectible.
Beatles records aside, the crush of memorabilia got serious in 1964. That was the year the Beatles first toured the United States. Brass barrettes for girls and autographed beach hats for boys were among the articles offered to fans. Cloth or vinyl purses and handbags, stamped with autographs and likenesses of the Fab Four, were especially popular.
Even more collectible today are some of the printed dresses from Holland produced in that pivotal year. And the Ringo boots and caps, as well as other "Beatles Authentic Mod Fashions" were designed to bring a bit of Carnaby Street to Smalltown, U.S.A.
For many Beatles collectors, the ephemera and paper associated with a concert is the most important thing. The Beatles did not begin their career in the early 1960s as headliners, which is why artists like Little Richard often appear on the covers of programs published for those events. One tour in 1963 began with the Beatles playing second bill to Roy Orbison, with the program reflecting that hierarchy. Halfway through the tour, though, the billing was switched and new programs were printed to reflect the change.
Other programs of particular interest to collectors of Beatles memorabilia are those for performances at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London in 1963 (where John Lennon made his famous "rattle your jewelry" crack) and Carnegie Hall in 1964.
Tickets and posters for these shows are also collectible. In general, the larger the ticket, the more valuable it is, and tickets with the word "Beatles" on them and a picture of the boys are always worth more than those without.
Very few Beatles shows had posters printed for them in the way we think of concert posters today. An exception to this rule was the poster for what would be the Beatles final live appearance in 1966 at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. With artwork by Wes Wilson, who would go on to design the first 50 or so posters for Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium, this poster was printed in a run that may have been as small as 300, which makes them one of the most sought-after music posters today...
Other types of 1964 Beatles collectibles are the bamboo plates, plastic ashtrays, ceramic candy dishes, and glassware. All were treated as canvases for portraits of the band or individual members. Corkstoppers in the shapes of John, Paul, George, and Ringo’s heads were also manufactured.
Jewelry items such as charm bracelets and necklaces were created to give the legions of screaming female fans a way to show their allegiance to their idols; the boys got cuff links and tie tacks. And then there were the grooming products, from hair gel to pocket combs to talcum powder to bubble bath and shampoo.
Plastic toys and musical instruments were big sellers, and are highly prized today. There were Beatles banjos, Beatles bongo drums, Beatles guitars, and even Beatles guitar strings. Want a pennant for your bedroom? There were dozens to choose from. How about a poster? Today’s collectors can choose the famous shot of the lads posed in a doorway for their London Palladium show in 1963 (although originals of this are difficult to come by) or any of the four psychedelic photos produced in 1968 by Richard Avedon for Look magazine.
In the mid-1960s, school supplies such as lunch boxes and pencils were all the rage, as were "Bobb’n Head" dolls. Revell made models, Topps printed trading cards packed with bubble gum, and several special series of cards were issued to coincide with the release of A Hard Day’s Night.
In fact, Beatles movie memorabilia is almost a category unto itself. In addition to 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night there was Help! in 1965. But the animated Yellow Submarine in 1968 spawned an even greater stream of posters and puzzles, clocks and costumes, stickers and yet more school supplies.
Last, but certainly not least, are the objects associated with membership in the Official Beatles Fan Club. Collectibles include the cards, of course, the 7-inch "flexi-disc" Christmas records, the Booklets and Bulletins, and the photo albums of individual Beatles printed in 1965.
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Wife of John Lennon lookalike to sell rare Beatles memorabilia in PlymouthPlymouth Herald, August 31st
A WOMAN who once threw a bouquet at Paul McCartney and whose husband has been described as a look-alike John Lennon, is selling some rare Beatles memorabilia. The woman, who has decided to remain anonymous, has been a fan of the Fab Four ...Read more
Liverpool Beatles Auction 2015: Take a look at some of the memorabilia for ...Liverpool Echo, August 28th
More than 300 lots are being sold off at the Annual Beatles Memorabilia Auction, including Beatles trading cards, Beatles breakfast bowls, a Christmas card signed by Yoko Ono and a John Lennon detention sheet from Quarry Bank school. Sketches drawn by ...Read more
Beatles exhibit stuns with John Lennon's autograph to his killerStraight.com, August 21st
A stunning exhibition of Beatles memorabilia receiving its debut at the Fair at the PNE on Saturday (August 22) includes one extremely chilling artifact—the copy of Double Fantasy autographed by John Lennon for his assassin, Mark Chapman...Read more
PNE banks on $100 million worth of Beatles memorabilia to boost attendanceBusiness in Vancouver, August 20th
Five avid collectors of Beatles memorabilia recently came together and decided to pool their collections to start showing them in museums. The PNE was in discussions with that quintet's exhibit company and it was agreed that the Fair at the PNE could...Read more
The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition debuts at the PNEStraight.com, August 19th
The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition arrives in Vancouver on Saturday (August 22), 51 years to the day after the Fab Four made their first-ever Canadian stop at Empire Stadium. Significantly, Vancouver has been chosen to debut the ...Read more
Beatles memorabilia auction sees 150 items under the hammer including Fab Four ...International Business Times UK, August 19th
The contract, written in German and signed in 1961 by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and then-drummer Peter Best, is part of a 300 lot collection of Beatles memorabilia assembled by the late German record producer Uwe Blaschke...Read more
This piece of Beatles memorabilia goes on sale next weekFortune, August 18th
Fab Four fans get your auction paddles ready because a pretty amazing piece of Beatles memorabilia is going to be for sale soon: the first recording contract the Liverpool rock group ever signed. The contract is from 1961, and the recording session...Read more
Beatles memorabilia to be auctionedSky News Australia, August 9th
A signed 'luv Cilla' handkerchief along with John Lennon's detention note from his days as a Liverpudlian schoolboy are to be auctioned later this month among a collection of other Beatles memorabilia. The poignantly signed hanky from Cilla Black, who...Read more