Lennon's doodles, drawings and nonsense poems to be sold in New York

Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:13pm EDT
 
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By Julia Fioretti

LONDON (Reuters) - The largest private collection of nonsense poems, doodles and comic drawings by the Beatles singer John Lennon will be sold in New York in June, auctioneer Sotheby's said on Friday.

Ranging from gibberish descriptions of Lennon's native city Liverpool, in northern England, to a drawing of a "National Health Cow" in an apparent jab at Britain's national health service, the collection reveals a lesser known side of the celebrated British singer, who was shot dead in 1980.

The drawings and original manuscripts are part of the collection of publisher Tom Maschler, creator of the prestigious literary award the Booker Prize, who published them in two books, "In His Own Write" (1964), and "A Spaniard in the Works"

(1965).

The collection, named "You Might Well Arsk", has a pre-sale estimate of around 800,000 dollars over 89 lots, Sotheby's said.

The sale coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first appearance in America on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. Watched by 73 million Americans, it shot the band to stardom.

The drawings and poems all date back to the early 1960s at the height of 'Beatlemania', Sotheby's said.

One of the unpublished typescripts contains a reference to the record-breaking British band's first single "Love Me Do", released in 1962.   Continued...

 
A manuscript written by John Lennon entitled 'Henry and Harry' is held for the cameras by a Sotheby's employee, London March 21, 2014. REUTERS/Paul Hackett