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Lot 12: Beatles Signed Photograph: Striking 1961 Marrion portrait from Fab Four’s first professional shoot, signed and inscribed by John, Paul, George, and Pete Best (the band’s original drummer)

Antiquarian Archives

January 10, 2016
Lakewood, NJ, US

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Description

Spectacular vintage glossy Albert Marrion group photo taken in December of 1961 during the Beatles first professional photo session. The band is clad in their leather outfits and holding their instruments, complete with original drummer Pete Best behind his kit. This early photo is signed and inscribed in red ballpoint by the entire band, on the reverse, “"To Meron, Love from John Lennon xx,"” "“Love to Meron from George Harrison xxxx,"” "“To Meron love from Paul McCartney xxx," ”and “"Lots of love to Meron from Pete Best xxx."” Albert Marrion photographer’s stamp is present at center of reverse. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Beatles expert Frank Caiazzo, stating the signatures date to early 1962.

Albert Marrion, a local wedding photographer, was brought on by influential Beatles manager Brian Epstein to capture a professional shot of the future international sensations. Though he snapped about 30 photos at his Wallesy studio in December 1961, records indicate that only 17 still exist, with the here-offered example being one of the most appealing. The photographer later recalled, ‘John and Paul joked and laughed throughout most of the session. George Harrison was quiet and Pete Best didn’t speak almost at all.’ Marrion remembered it was actually Lennon and McCartney’s ‘acting up’ that spoiled many of the discarded negatives. Best, the band’s original drummer, who would be replaced by Ringo Starr only eight months later, in August 1962, certainly foreshadows here with his mundane facial expression.

An uncommon photograph in of itself, the chance to obtain a fully band-signed version of this official Cavern Club-era image is a rare opportunity: one not to be missed by the discerning rock n’ roll collector.

Dimensions

Photograph, 6.5 by 8.5 inches

Date

December 1961

Condition Report

Photograph in very near fine condition, with scattered light creasing and surface impressions to image side from signatures on reverse.

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