Sunday, 16 November 2014


The first full set of the famous Beatles' Abbey Road photos goes on auction in London next Friday (November 21), with an estimated price of £70,000.
The photoshoot was the work of photographer Iain Macmillan, a good friend of The Beatles, who is said to have taken the photos in only 10 minutes.

Although the set is valued at around £70,000, Sarah Wheeler, the head of the Photography Department at Bloomsbury Auctions, believes it will be sold for a much higher price.

"They're estimated between £50,000 and £70,000, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they went for over £100,000. The estimate is just a starting price, but they can go much higher," she said.

There are six photographs from the photoshoot, from which 25 original prints were made. This is the first full set of six to be auctioned. Wheeler said it took an anonymous collector 10 years to gather all of them.

But, according to Wheeler, the real value of the photos comes not from their rarity, but from the story behind them. Since they were taken, the six photographs have been the source of various rumors such as Paul McCartney being dead at the time the photograph was taken, and that a body double was walking with the group instead. Wheeler said that according to rumor, the reason Paul was walking barefoot in some of the photos is because in Mafia culture it represents death.

"Paul being barefoot is a Mafia symbolism of being dead. And, so, the cover shows John, dressed in white, and many people said that made him look like a preacher. Ringo was in black, looking like an undertaker and George was the gold digger in jeans... and obviously Paul was dead," Wheeler said.
Grim tales apart, the story of the actual photoshoot is also a point of interest to collectors and music enthusiasts.
Wheeler told:"At the very beginning they wanted to do something at Mount Everest, but then Paul said 'No, let's do something much more simple', and so they ended up doing it just outside the music studios where they were recording. It was the last album they fully recorded together. What's interesting is they're walking away from the studios. So, in a way, it's like they're saying goodbye to the studios."

The photos are open for public viewing at the Bloomsbury auction house from Sunday 16 until the auction day on November 21.

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