BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Thursday, 27 April, 2000, 19:10 GMT 20:10 UK
Epstein collection fails to impress
John Lennon's card
Bryan Barrett with Epstein's card from Lennon
The intimate diaries of late Beatles mastermind Brian Epstein and a handwritten letter from Sir Paul McCartney have failed to attract bidders at an auction.

A total of 14 lots documenting the life of the legendary manager went under the hammer at Christie's, south Kensington, London, 33 years after his death of a sleeping drug overdose.

But the two main items - the letter from McCartney inquiring after Epstein's health and diaries detailing his troubled childhood and later struggle to come to terms with his homosexuality - failed to reach their reserve prices.

Elvis Presley guitar
Lincoln "Chips" Moman with Elvis Presley's guitar
The letter's estimated value was 10-12,000 but only 5,500 was bid. The diaries, valued at between 10-15,000 peaked at 7,500.

The four-page letter was written to Epstein in 1966 or 1967 and is believed to be the first example of a letter between one of the group and their manager to appear at auction.

In it, McCartney apologises for spilling Coca-Cola on the pages, before signing off as The Reverend James Paul McKenzie.

Christmas card

Among the other lots in the collection, put up for sale by Epstein's former chauffeur Bryan Barrett, was a hand-drawn Christmas card from John Lennon, which sold for 5,405.

The card is inscribed with the message "Happy Christian Brian from John" - believed to be an ironic reference to Epstein's Jewish beliefs.

Epstein's 18-carat gold square self-winding watch, valued at 1,500-2,500 fetched 2,820.

Mr Barrett, now 70, claimed he "threw the objects in a cupboard" at the time, but recently decided it would not hurt anyone to make them public as all Epstein's immediate family were now dead.

Also in the sale was a 1957 Gibson Super 400 CES guitar used on all of Elvis Presley's hits between 1957 and 1961.

It was brought over, along with 14 other guitars, by legendary songwriter and producer Lincoln "Chips" Moman.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

25 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Brian Epstein collection on sale
06 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Unseen Beatles art on show
07 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Cilla's tribute to Lennon
01 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Beatles tell of yesterdays
25 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Elvis: Always on their minds
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories