Unseen Beatles Photographs Sell For Over $360,000

Teenagers photos of the Fab Four break estimates   22-Jul-11


Reuters has reported that 'a trove' of previously unseen photographs of The Beatles' first U.S. concerts, as taken by a Washington teen-ager in 1964, reached more than $360,000 at auction, selling for three-times the estimated value.

Forty-six lots of approximately 50 black-and-white photographs of the iconic British pop-band took in a total of $361,938. The collection of prints that had sat in a box for 45 years had been expected to fetch about $100,000.

Individual lots sold for between $813 to $68,500 for Mike Mitchell's gelatine silver-prints, which were taken during the Fab Four's appearances in Washington and Baltimore.

Christie's had said the photographs were priced conservatively because Mitchell was not a known photographer.

But Christie's director of iconic collections, Cathy Elkies, said their "intimacy and up-close quality" set them apart from many other Beatles photographs.

It must have been like the re-birth of Beatlemania: Calling the sale "an outstanding success," Elkies noted that the bidders became part of Beatles history, as well as "the excitement that the Beatles still inspire all these years later."

The Beatles performed their first U.S. concert at the Washington Coliseum on February 11, 1964, two days after their legendary debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Mitchell, then 18, was lucky enough to be at Union Station when the band arrived, he managed to capture the band, as well as the hysteric fans. He managed to get other great shots by being at the pre-concert news conference and being positioned at the stage for the entire Coliseum show. 

He then took photographs of the later Beatles gig at the Baltimore Civic Centre.

Friends encouraged him to put his little-seen photographs up for sale.

You can see the photographs here.


Rich Beech



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