20th-Century Beatles “Butcher Cover” Album

Value (2003) | $10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction

APPRAISER:
Wow! This is absolutely unbelievable. Where'd you get this?

GUEST:
I've had it since I was in high school. I think I bought it at Sears.

APPRAISER:
Sears had a great Sears record department, didn't they?

GUEST:
Sears had a great record department.

APPRAISER:
And this was actually a very rare record, because when Capitol Records released it, most of the stores wouldn't carry it. You know why?

GUEST:
Because it's kind of creepy?

APPRAISER:
It's kind of creepy for the mop tops. So what they did is all of the stores pulled them off the shelves and sent them back, and Capitol pasted over it a different cover with the Beatles sitting in a trunk, very safe and very cute. And it's interesting 'cause they were only on sale at Sears for one day. And you just happened to walk in that day?

GUEST:
They were?

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
Oh, yay.

APPRAISER:
This record sold probably millions, but they did many things over the course of time to change it. They put the cover on it, they pasted it over, and eventually, they didn't have this underneath. So, many people have peeled off the Beatles trunk cover looking for the butcher cover underneath. This is known as a "first state," which means they didn't paste anything over it. Just like that, that's the way it came out. So it's very cool and desirable for Beatles collectors. What's also interesting, of course, is there's a mint condition record and sleeve inside. You hardly ever played it. But the spine, all the way around the edges is really in beautiful condition. The record would always slide through and rip the spine.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And once they pasted over it, people would peel them off, and there's fakes out there, and this looks almost like a fake.

GUEST:
It does?

APPRAISER:
Doesn't it? It's so clean and so perfect, and it almost looks like a color Xerox, but it's not. You got it yourself, and it is a real first state, Beatles butcher cover. Now, at auction, I've seen some of these in this condition sell for... $10,000 to $12,000.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
Yes.

GUEST:
Yippee.

APPRAISER:
Okay. Now, what did you pay for it?

GUEST:
I think Sears was selling their albums for about $2.99.

APPRAISER:
So you got a good margin on that. Most importantly, taking care of this. You're going to get an acid-free plastic sleeve to put it in.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
You're going to take the record and the sleeve out of this cover, and keep it separately,

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
because the spine is still good. You don't want to split the spine. So here you have the possibility of actually framing this archivally, peeling the record out, and having a $10,000 work of art on your wall.

GUEST:
Oh. And a lovely one at that.

APPRAISER:
Thanks for bringing it to show me.

GUEST:
Thanks so much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
allcollectors.com
Hudson, MA
Appraised value (2003)
$10,000 Auction$12,000 Auction
Event
Chicago, IL (July 26, 2003)
Material
Paper, Plastic

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