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Wednesday, 25 April, 2001, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Mystery star sells off Beatles artefacts
The Beatles
Beatles memorabilia continues to attract high prices
An unknown music industry figure is selling off a collection of Beatles memorabilia, including the architect's plans for the studio John Lennon built to record Imagine.

The extensive collection, which also includes items associated with Marc Bolan, Fleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix, will be auctioned on 5 May.

The Cranbrook Auction Rooms denied rumours that the vendor was Paul McCartney but admitted that the person in question was well-known.

Co-director of the auction house Raj Bisram said he could not reveal the identity of the seller.

"He is well known, lives in Sussex and is in the music business, but he is not Paul McCartney.

"I am sworn to secrecy," he said.

Pop stars such as George Michael, the Gallagher brothers and Michael Jackson are expected to take an interest in the auction, said Mr Bisram.

'Famous people'

Mr Bisram said: "John Lennon's piano, on which he wrote Imagine, was sold for 1.5m to George Michael and we are hoping that the plans for the studio will go to him.

"The vendor knows all of the famous people who may be interested in this memorabilia and we have contacted them.

John Lennon's 'Imagine' piano
Imagine a 1.5m piano

"Michael Jackson is a big Beatles collector as are the Gallagher brothers."

The plans for Lennon's recording studio at Tittenhurst Hall in Ascot are expected to fetch between 15,000 and 20,000 in the sale.

Rare item

Tittenhurst Hall was sold to another Beatle, Ringo Starr in 1973, but he subsequently sold the property and the recording studio has since been removed.

Another rare item in the sale is a signed Christmas card from the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein.

Other artifacts for sale include an original 1960s poster for Jimi Hendrix, a set of Fleetwood Mac signatures and a poster advertising Marc Bolan's Born To Boogie - a film he made with Ringo Starr.

A total of 75 items are to be sold in the first auction, with others to follow throughout the year which will include an original John Lennon guitar and airline tickets from the Beatle's last tour.

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See also:

04 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Robbie's bed for sale
27 Mar 01 | Showbiz
Lennon's limo fails to sell
26 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Lennon's piano up for sale
26 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Clapton guitar for sale
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