Skip to main content

Original art from Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper' album tops $87,000 at auction

The insert tucked inside the landmark gatefold album was crafted by artists Sir Peter Blake and Jann Haworth.

By Susan Sliwicki

The original art created for the insert of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album sold for $87,791.70 (£55,250) at auction.

Sgt Pepper insert artwork by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth courtesy Sotheby's

The original artwork for the insert of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" album was created by artists Sir Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. It measures 11-3/4" x 11-3/4" and sold for $87,791.10 (£55,250) at auction Nov. 13, 2012, via Sotheby's. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.

Sotheby's sold the piece at its Modern and Post-War British Art event held Nov. 13, 2012. The pre-auction estimate for the piece was $79,450 to $127,119 (£50,000-£80,000)

Created by Sir Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, who also crafted the album's iconic cover, the artwork includes the inscription "For M.J. from Peter and Jann" in the bottom right-hand corner. It was signed and dated March 1968.

In addition to a portrait of "Sgt. Pepper," the insert also features a moustache, a pair of sergeant's stripes, a free-standing image of The Beatles in their psychedelic band uniforms and a pair of small badges showing Pepper's head and the Sgt. Pepper bass drum design. The items were meant to be cut out and enjoyed — much to the chagrin of record collectors, who prefer to purchase vinyl records with any related inserts (such as lyric sheets or posters) intact.

"It seems the original thought was to make these real items attached to the sheet, but even for the world's most popular music stars, the logistics proved too expensive," the Sotheby's lot description read.

The collage was deemed to be in good condition, with two small fox-marks on the dedication and fading to the green board on which the collage is mounted, according to the Sotheby's condition report.