1965 Beatles-Signed Photo with Letter
The story is that our family was invited to a wedding in Appleton, Wisconsin, and at that wedding, there was a guest by the name of George Ornstein, who was head of United Artists in London. And the little children that were at that wedding got autographed Beatle pictures, and my little sister wasn't at the wedding, so she wrote to George Ornstein and said, "I was supposed to be at that wedding. Could I have a Beatle picture?" And so in April of '65, he sent this photo, and we always laughed because he said, "I hope this makes you happy." My sister died very young at 22. And my parents had the photo, and then when my parents passed, I inherited it, and I've treasured it because I remember so vividly how Jeannie was so thrilled to have this photo.
Now, George Ornstein worked with the Beatles. He oversaw production of A Hard Day's Night.
And you still have the letter, of course, that she kept.
Well, a couple of other things we know about the photo besides the signatures is that it was taken by Robert Whitaker.
Oh, I hadn't realized.
He was a renowned British photographer who took photographs of the Beatles between 1964 and 1966. What we also know about this photo is that it was an outtake from the sessions for the Beatles '65 album cover. It's a very popular image with them holding the teacups, but something that was only published in the form of the publicity photo. And we have the personalization to your sister here, lower left. It says, "For Jean."
And I always thought it was quite amusing that George Harrison wrote his signature over John Lennon's face.
Yup. We talked about it at the table, factoring in the quality of the signatures and the letter accompanying it with the great provenance, that we've placed a value on this at auction of between $10,000 and $15,000.
Oh, my word. That really surprises me.
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