Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Sunday, 16 August 2009 11:54 UK

Beatle's schoolboy photo auction

Sir Paul McCartney's school photo
The future rock and roll icon (top left) had his head buried in a comic

A previously unseen photograph of Sir Paul McCartney, before he found fame and fortune with The Beatles, is set for auction.

A schoolboy Paul is seen engrossed in a comic surrounded by classmates from Joseph Williams School, Liverpool, in the picture, taken in 1952.

A woman recently took it into The Beatles Shop - a few metres away from the original Cavern Club in Liverpool.

It will be among 315 items of Beatles memorabilia auctioned on 29 August.

'Truly amazing'

The haul also features a class photograph of drummer Ringo Starr, aged eight, sitting smartly dressed in shorts and a black jacket at St Silus School.

"It's the earliest class photo [of Ringo] we have," said Stephen Bailey, manager of The Beatles Shop, which is organising the auction.

Also on sale is a lithograph of producer Sir George Martin's score for the Beatles song Yesterday.

Sir Paul McCartney's school photo
The youngster was fascinated by the comic when the picture was taken

The lithograph, complete with mistakes and tea stains, is numbered and hand signed by Sir Paul and Sir George. It is estimated to fetch £6,000.

Among the other items is a picture of Sir Paul, with his late wife Linda, posing on a pair of customised Shimano mountain bikes.

Both bikes feature individual artwork inspired by the pair's shared love of music and the environment.

Mr Bailey said the recession could be responsible for a large amount of memorabilia being offered.

"It is truly amazing," he said.

"This is our 19th annual memorabilia auction and you would have possibly thought that the Crown Jewels would have long since been found and sold but that is just not the case.

"I think that the present financial climate has concentrated people's memories and the extra cash that they will make comes in handy at a time like this."

Thousands of Beatles fans from across the country are expected at the auction, which will be held in the Paul McCartney Auditorium at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (Lipa).

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