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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Beatles album waxworks to be sold
Wax heads of George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr
The wax heads were borrowed from Madame Tussauds in 1967
Three wax heads of The Beatles, made for Madame Tussauds and used on the cover of the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, are to be auctioned.

Auctioneers Cooper Owen expect the busts of John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison to fetch up to 80,000 when they are sold later this month.

Also included in the sale is a waxwork head of Sir Paul McCartney that was not used in the album cover photo shoot.

A bust of actress Diana Dors that was on the album cover is also being sold.

"The auction provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of definitive cultural history," a Cooper Owen spokesman said.

Sir Paul McCartney (left) with Sir Peter Blake (right)
The Sgt Pepper album cover was designed by Sir Peter Blake (right)
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is regularly named among the best British albums and the cover has become an iconic piece of pop art.

Artist Sir Peter Blake used 62 photographic enlargements to create the backdrop for the album cover.

"Paul and John said I should imagine the band had just finished a concert, perhaps in a park," he once said.

"I then thought we should have a crowd standing behind them, and this developed into the collage idea.

"I wanted to have the waxworks of The Beatles because I thought they might be looking at Sgt Pepper's band too."

Stones rarity

The waxworks were borrowed from Madame Tussauds for the shoot, which took place at photographer Michael Cooper's studio in 1967.

Other items to go under the hammer at the auction will include The Rolling Stones' first recording contract, valued at between 15,000 and 20,000.

The sale takes place at Madame Tussauds in London on 27 October - two days before another Beatles-related auction.

The white suit worn by Lennon on the Abbey Road album cover and a hearse owned by the late musician will be among the lots on offer in Las Vegas.

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