Unseen Beatles Photos From First U.S. Tour Sell for $358,000
A collection of unseen photos of the Beatles from their first U.S. tour recently sold at an auction in England for more than $358,000.
The 413 negatives, of which 350 have never been published, were taken by photographer Mike Mitchell in 1964. The then 18-year-old documented the Fab Four’s first U.S. concert in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 11 of that year, then later shot both front stage and backstage in Baltimore when the band returned to the U.S. on Sept. 13. Mitchell had sold a collection of prints from the Washington show for $362,000 in 2011.
"The resulting negatives, taken only with ambient light, since Mitchell had no flash, were put away in a box and sat for decades in his basement," auctioneers Omega noted before the sale. "The advent of digital technology allowed them to be fully realized as luminous records of this historical moment. The photographs are intimate, due to Mitchell's proximity to the band; they are moody, the result of existing light; and they are innocent, reflecting a time of heightened optimism."
“This is an incredible archive,” said Omega auctioneer Paul Fairweather. “The unique combination of perspective and light sets them apart from any other Beatles photographs of that period. This was reflected in prices achieved for a small selection of prints in 2011, so for the entire archive to be sold with copyright, this is a unique opportunity for collectors and investors alike."
Watch the photographer talk about the Beatles below.
Rolling Stone reports that other Beatles items at the same auction included a Mercedes once owned by George Harrison, which sold for $61,000; an audio tape containing an unreleased Harrison song caleld “Hello Miss Mary Bee,” which went for $24,000; and a hotel check-in document signed by all four Beatles and manager Brian Epstein, which sold for $14,000.