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Original Yellow Submarine cartoon drawing for sale

THE Beatles and Rock & Pop Memorabilia go together like fish and chips.

Original Yellow Submarine film cel on sale in an online auction in Dallas.

Original Yellow Submarine film cel on sale in an online auction in Dallas.

The Fab Four are always the most sought-after band among collectors across the world and are so popular that they form virtually a separate market.

Honourable mentions go to artists such as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley, with the Grateful Dead taking a big slice in the US, but the Beatles bubble shows no signs of bursting.

All kinds of Beatles memorabilia come up at auction and if the provenance is strong, so too will be the prices.

On March 24 two pictures of John Lennon driving his Mini taken from the back passenger seat by the vendor sold for £4400 against an estimate of £800-1200 at Omega Auctions of Cheshire in a dedicated Beatles collection sale. John is seen looking into the camera via the rear view mirror. These were taken while driving round to George Harrison’s place to rehearse The White Album and were sold by the original photographer with copyright.

Heritage Auctions of Dallas are offering another unusual but desirable Fab Four item in an online sale ending on April 9: one of the first hand-painted cels of the Yellow Submarine made for the 1968 animated film.

This 10 x 5 1/2in (25.5 x 14cm) cel (United Artists/King Features, 1968) was used for reference during the creation of all the production cels and shows colour instructions.

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Frankenstein film poster in a monster size up for sale

“IT’S alive! It’s alive!”

Frankenstein film poster on offer at Heritage Auctions of Dallas on March 28-29.

Frankenstein film poster on offer at Heritage Auctions of Dallas on March 28-29.

The words of actor Colin Clive as Dr Henry Frankenstein when his monstrous creation lumbered into activity in the 1931 film. Also monstrous in size is the only known copy of a poster for Frankenstein in the three-sheet format, which goes under the hammer in Dallas, Texas, on March 28-29.

It is on offer in Heritage Auctions’ movie poster sale. The C- format poster, measuring a giant 3ft 5in x 6ft 6in (1 x 1.98m), features the ’monster’ Boris Karloff’s dramatically-lit head looming above the recumbent figure of Mae Clarke.

“Only a small handful of one-sheets including one teaser, one six-sheet, one insert, and a restored half-sheet are all that have appeared of the Frankenstein posters,” said Grey Smith, Heritage’s director of movie posters, “and this poster is the only known copy of either of the two style three- sheets created for the debut of the film.”

The poster was found in the early 1970s in a closed and boarded-over projection booth in a theatre and had apparently been used as a display for a number of reissues of the film with its counterpart for Dracula. It has since been professionally restored and mounted on linen and is expected to fetch between $100,000-200,000.

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Railway nameplate reveals the story of Ralph Brocklebank

The Ralph Brocklebank railway locomotive nameplate on offer at Adam Partridge on April 1.

The Ralph Brocklebank railway locomotive nameplate on offer at Adam Partridge on April 1.

WHO was Ralph Brocklebank? Why is a dock on the Mersey in Bootle named after his family and why is there a painting of him in the National Railway Museum’s collection?

Part of the considerable appeal of antiques lies in the story behind the object, especially if it involves not just local history but industrial history, family history, railways and shipping.

An item such as a railway nameplate on offer at Adam Partridge auction house in Liverpool on April 1 ticks all the above boxes, providing hours of joy for any buyer keen to research its background.

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Tape recorder that launched the Tubular Bells phenomenon

TUBULAR Bells was massive. It is still massive.

The original tape recorder used to play thedemo tape for Tubular Bells.

The original tape recorder used to play the demo tape for Tubular Bells.

Composer Mike Oldfield was just 19 when his masterpiece came out in 1973 and it remains an influential album – a rearranged segment featured at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

The ground-breaking instrumental work sold gazillions of copies, established Virgin records, and also sowed the seed for what is now the Virgin empire.

Now, the original tape recorder which launched this musical phenomenon has been rediscovered in a garden shed. Tom Newman, who set up the Manor Recording Studios with Virgin boss Richard Branson, recently found the Akai 40000 Reel to Reel on which he played the original demo tape from Oldfield.

This rare piece of rock memorabilia will go on exhibition at The Garden Rooms at North Yorkshire auctioneers Tennants on April 1 before being offered at auction on June 20. more »

Dolls’ house furniture on offer in Derbyshire

YOUR eyes are not deceiving you. Edward Rycroft, pictured here, really is a giant and the furniture he is handling is normal size. The general valuer and furniture cataloguer, who works at Hansons auctioneers in Derbyshire, holds the record as the tallest auction house employee in the world.

Edward Rycroft from Hansons towers over a set of furniture from their March 27 sale.

Edward Rycroft from Hansons towers over a set of furniture from their March 27 sale.

Oh, all right, we’re just joking. Had you fooled. Edward is of course of regular human being size (we assume) and that wonderful collection of furniture on offer in Hansons’ spring fine art sale on March 27 is intended for a dolls’ house.

This fine collection, estimated at £1200-1800, has never appeared on the open market since it was made in the first half of the 20th century. It comprises bureau bookcases, wing chairs, a set of side chairs, dining tables, tilt-top tables and much more.

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Titanic lump of coal up for sale

FATE dealt many passengers a cruel blow when the Titanic sailed from Southampton in April 1912. For the Dean family, the only reason they were on the ship was that a coal strike meant they were transferred to the doomed liner.

Lump of coal from the Titanic on offer at JP Humbert on March 18.

Lump of coal from the Titanic on offer at JP Humbert on March 18.

In a particularly strange twist, 103 years later a piece of coal being offered at auction by Northamptonshire saleroom JP Humbert comes with a signed provenance including the signature of Millvina Dean, who became the youngest survivor of the tragedy.

The lump was salvaged from the wreck during the 1994 Titanic Research & recovery Expedition and was Object Number 94/0036, authenticated by the president of the RMS Titanic Inc and the expedition ship’s captain.

Also up for sale is an actual piece of the hull of the Titanic- a fragment of the 20 ton ‘big piece’ salvaged on August 10, 1998, by the French research vessel Nadir. The ‘rusticle’ is a heavily corroded remnant of the original steel hull and is one of only a few such pieces ever to have been offered for sale.

The two lots are being offered ‘without reserve’ in Towcester this Wednesday (March 18)  alongside a number of other items signed by Millvina. She died in 2009 aged 97 – in Southampton.

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Model railway fans chuffed at chance to buy Pete Waterman collection

I SHOULD Be So Lucky to have a Gauge 1 model of a Great Western Railway 0-4-4T broad gauge tank locomotive. Especially For You, I can get a London North Western Railway Class F 2-8-0 tender locomotive.

Gauge 1 model of a Great Western Railway Saint Class 4-4-2 tender locomotive No.179 ‘Magnet’, scratch-built by George MacKinnon-Ure. Estimate £30,000-40,000.

Gauge 1 model of a Great Western Railway Saint Class 4-4-2 tender locomotive No.179 ‘Magnet’, scratch-built by George MacKinnon-Ure. Estimate £30,000-40,000.

Music supremo Pete Waterman probably thought it was a case of Never Gonna Give You Up when it came to his fantastic collection of model railways.

He is renowned for his production line of eighties pop hits by artists such as Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Rick Astley, as part of the astonishingly successful Stock Aitken Waterman trio. But the largely teenage fans who revered Waterman’s work never realised he was also a train geek.

Waterman is selling his 56-lot collection of scratch-built historic locomotives in Gauge 1 and above in a sale through H&H Classics in conjunction with Dreweatts & Bloomsbury on April 16 at the Mallett Antiques premises in Dover Street, London.

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First UFO identified in 1479 anthology

YOU may know the name Nostradamus, but what about Conrad Lycosthenes? Yes, all right, Nostradamus supposedly predicted the Great Fire of London and the French Revolution among other world-shattering events, but did he show what could be the world’s first UFO?

A 1479 anthology includes this view of what appears to be a UFO seen over Arabia.

A 1479 anthology includes this view of what appears to be a UFO seen over Arabia.

Fellow prophet Conrad Lycosthenes, aka Conrad Wolffhart, came up with his Prodigiorum ac Ostentorum Chronicon…, a big anthology of prodigies and portents, monsters, curiosities, comets and other natural wonders, in 1557. It was printed by Henri Petri of Basel, at the same time as Nostradamus, aka Frenchman Michel de Nostredame, was making his own predictions (the two may have borrowed ideas from each other).

This was an era of religious upheaval and voyages of discovery, with exotic animals and astronomical curiosities taken as omens of impending doom by a still rampantly superstitious population.

Among the comets and natural wonders in the anthology is a report of something resembling a spaceship sighted in Arabia in 1479, with an accompanying woodcut showing this mysterious craft (these days you would probably blame North Korean missile tests).

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Monument to English football failure on sale

IF you see hordes of Scots queuing up outside Sotheby’s in New Bond Street on Tuesday (March 10) and are wondering why, there is a simple answer.

The black granite monument to the England football team's defeats which is on offer at Sotheby's.

The black granite monument to the England football team’s defeats which is on offer at Sotheby’s.

The auction house are offering a black granite monument, like an epitaph on a memorial, engraved with every occasion the England football team has lost a game.

The untitled work by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is estimated at £400,000-600,000 as part of the single-owner Bear Witness sale. He first exhibited the monument at a London show in 1999 and the roll-call of shame stretches from from Scotland’s 2-1 defeat of England in Glasgow in 1874 to Romania’s 2-1 victory at the 1998 World Cup (it is lucky it doesn’t include defeats since, or the world supply of granite could be under threat).

“I guess it’s a piece which talks about pride, missed opportunities and death,” said Cattelan, enfant terrible of the art world, known for his satirical and humorous sculptures.

His other well-known works include La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour) which depicts Pope John Paul II being struck down by a meteorite.

It is believed that Cattelan is working on a new monument to the number of Champions League and Europa League final appearances by Italian clubs in recent times but he can’t find a suitable pebble.

American Pie original manuscript to be sold by Don McLean

A LONG, long time ago…

American Pie album cover (© 2003 Capitol Records)

American Pie album cover (© 2003 Capitol Records)

Unless you’ve been living on the Planet Zog since the end of the sixties or your idea of popular music is early 6th century Alpine yodelling, you will recognise the start of one of the most famous songs of all time.

American Pie by Don McLean is the quintessential US anthem but its lyrics resonate across the world. Now, thanks to Christie’s New York, you have the chance to bid for the original manuscript and notes, offered by the singer-songwriter. If you are not put off by an estimate of $1m-1.5m on April 7, that is.

The original working manuscript and typed drafts for the song comprise 16 pages, containing 237 lines of manuscript and 26 lines of typed text.

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