Beatles, big-ticket records rule online auction countdown

By Susan Sliwicki

After a brief sabbatical, Market Watch is back. And with every single lot in our Top 5 selling for $10,000 or more, it’s one humdinger of a countdown.

5_LeonidKogan5. $10,099.99 — Leonid Kogan, “Beethoven Violin Concerto,” LP. We’re pretty sure when audiophiles spotted this lot, we heard them cheering like Green Bay Packers fans at Lambeau Field on 4th and 1 with two minutes left in a tied game. “This is one of many records from a sound engineer’s private archive,” the seller wrote. “The huge collection was revealed after his death a few years ago. He worked for famous record companies from the ’30s until late ’60s and as a dedicated music lover,” the seller wrote. “After buying his records, he taped them on a Revox reel player and then archived the vinyl. It is like visiting a record shop with new 40- to 60-year-old records! This particular copy of SAX 2386, pressed in the U.K. in 1960 on Columbia, earned all-around grades of Near Mint. Thirty-nine bids were placed before the auction closed.

Beatles demo single4. $10,045.85 — The Beatles, “Love Me Do” b/w “P.S. I Love You,” 45, promo. This copy of Parlophone 45-R 4949, also known as an uber-rare Beatles demo, came straight from a collector’s own shelves to the auction. “Fantastic condition for age, plays like new,” the seller wrote. However, the seller didn’t give a specific record grade, nor did he clarify whether a sleeve was included. (Based on the photos, there was one.) This lot drew 21 bids, but we suspect it could’ve drawn even more — and a higher price — had the seller offered just a few more pertinent details and slightly larger photos that would’ve allowed for better examination of the record, labels and sleeve.

3_BeatlesPromo3. $10,684.72 — The Beatles, “Love Me Do” b/w “P.S. I Love You,” 45, promo. No, you aren’t seeing double. This is the second “rare” 1962 promo single for The Beatles (complete with the misspelling of Paul McCartney’s last name) to land on our countdown this week. In fairness, copies of this promo record have spent a fair amount of time on our Market Watch countdown over the past two years. However, this one isn’t as nice as some of the copies we’ve seen; it has some light hairline scratches on both sides of the record, and it doesn’t come with the original sleeve. The seller described it in “lovely condition,” but gave no other details. Nineteen bids were placed.

2_WouldYouBelieve2. $12,176.80 — Billy Nicholls, “Would You Believe,” LP. “Without question, the rarest psychedelic album of all time,” the seller states in his opening description. This original 1968 stereo pressing of Immediate IMPC009 was an unreleased U.K. first pressing, according to the seller. The record is believed to have had a miniscule press run of 100 or less copies. The record earned a grade of Near Mint/Mint-Minus, with the labels coming in at Excellent Plus and the sleeve grading at Very Good Minus. Fifty-one bids were placed before the auction closed.

1_Beatles1. $12,937.85 — The Beatles, “Yesterday and Today,” first-state cover, LP. This uncirculated, original mono pressing of The Beatles’ “Yesterday and Today” (Capitol T2253) still in its shrink wrap was acquired from the family of a former Capitol Records distribution center manager, and it comes with a letter of authenticity. But also included in this lot is a bit of history. There is a memo detailing the destruction of 50,000 Butcher covers at the local dump, an essay about the cover’s history at Capitol, a newspaper clipping and a copy of the recall letter to reviewers who had received promo copies of the LP. The item was sold to a Buy-It-Now bidder.

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