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Friday, 21 September, 2001, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Sex Pistols souvenirs fetch high prices
The Sex Pistols
The group signed with A&M Records at Buckingham Palace
Sex Pistols memorabilia fetched unexpectedly high prices at Sotheby's auction on Thursday, with singer Johnny Rotten's "anarchy" shirt being sold for 3,995.

The punk rock group have now entered the big league for memorabilia sales, alongside 60s greats like Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles.

A concert poster for the their "Punk Special" gig at the 100 Club in Oxford Street, London fetched 3,055, more than twice its pre-sale estimate.

Johnny Rotten's shirt
Rotten's 4000 shirt: Heavily customised
But the highest prices were set by Beatles items - including a set of hotel registration forms for the band from Stockholm, which fetched 9,987 against a pre-sale estimate of 5,000-6,000.

The restaurant chain Hard Rock Cafe purchased many of the top lots, including a three-page letter from George Harrison to one-time Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, dated 1960.

Unpublished photos

In the letter, which fetched 8,225, Harrison urges Sutcliffe to return to Liverpool from Hamburg as the band had secured a series of gigs.

Sex Pistols poster
Contemporary Pistols posters were also auctioned
Harrison writes: "Can't you or won't you come home sooner? If we get a new bass player for the time being, it will be crumby as he will have to learn everything and it's no good Paul playing bass, we've decided."

The Hard Rock Cafe also bought a set of unpublished photographs of the Beatles dating from the mid-1960s for 5,875 - which it says it will display in the chain's new hotels in the US.

The desirability of Beatles items at auction is well-known, but the auction house expressed surprise at the prices reached by the Sex Pistols collection.

Stephen Maycock of Sotheby's said: "I had good feedback about the Sex Pistols-related pieces but the results were much better than I expected."

One fan from Coventry successfully bid for a copy of the withdrawn single God Save the Queen for 2,820 - against a pre-sale estimate of 1,800.

He said that the purchase enabled him to complete his set of all the Sex Pistols singles released in England.

See also:

08 Apr 00 | Tom Brook
Sex Pistols' furious return
18 Sep 01 | Showbiz
Pop and punk memories for sale
28 Sep 98 | Entertainment
Shooting the Sex Pistols
22 Aug 01 | Music
Lennon's piano back on show
14 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Sex Pistols cover tops chart
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