The Beatles Show Run & Signed Photo

Value (2014) | $18,000 Auction$24,000 Auction

Back in 1996, I was driving down the street and saw some trash that didn't look like trash. The dumpster diver in me jumped out and grabbed the garbage and took it home and found all kinds of neat stuff, but probably the most important thing I found was this rehearsal rundown from the Ed Sullivan Show. And after looking at it more, I realized that it was from February 9, 1964, which was The Beatles' very first appearance on the show.

So you found that in the dumpster.

That was in the dumpster.

And was this in the dumpster with it?

That wasn't. After finding the interesting stuff, we knocked on the door of the house and met the owner's son, who was cleaning out the house, and developed a rapport with him and proceeded to purchase some items from him, and the autographed photo is one of the items I purchased. I paid $100 for it.

Wow. And how did his dad come up with this stuff? Where did it come from, did he tell you?

From what I know, his father was a photographer for the CBS network, and The Ed Sullivan Show was one of his beats, so he had access to The Beatles during one of their appearances.

That's great, that's terrific. And you know, when you think about The Beatles, what comes to mind is their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and interestingly enough, Ed Sullivan wanted them to make one appearance and he offered them a pretty good sum of money, and their manager, Brian Epstein at the time, said, "No, I'd rather take less money but have them on three times." So this was their first appearance, and they were to appear once a week for three weeks. And when you look at the rehearsal sheet, you can see right there, it lists The Beatles' three songs they were going to play there, and they came on at the end and closed the show again with some more songs. It's really a question now of the provenance, and when you have a photo like this signed, and I believe it's inscribed up here and it says, "To Grace," and from what you were mentioning, you think Grace was the gentleman's daughter.

I'm not 100% sure, but most likely.

So now what we've done is we've taken a photo that the son has said that it was signed at the show that night, his dad got it, and you've tied it together for provenance with the original rehearsal list, which is very scarce in and of itself. Rehearsal lists like that, there may not be another one out there, there may be plenty of them, but I've never seen one. That does add quite a bit of value. In terms of the photograph itself, signatures are authentic, it's a wonderful image. A couple little question marks, but nothing major. I see where Paul signed there, you do have a little bit of a loss of ink for a second and then maybe a restart, but again, 100% authentic. Beatles photos signed run the gamut in a very wide range. If I was going to place the two pieces up at auction, and we're assuming that it was signed that night, I would put a presale auction estimate at $18,000 to $24,000 for the pair. So I'm thrilled that you found it, I'm glad that you saved it, and I'm really glad that you brought it in. If the photograph was dated, I would have put the estimate way, way higher.

Appraisal Details

Philip Weiss Auctions
Lynbrook, NY
Appraised value (2014)
$18,000 Auction$24,000 Auction
New York, NY (August 09, 2014)

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