Lennon's toilet sells for $14,740 at UK auction

Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:51pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A toilet that belonged to late Beatle John Lennon fetched 9,500 pounds ($14,740) at auction on Saturday, around 10 times its estimate, the sale organizers said.

Lennon, who was murdered in New York in 1980, had the porcelain lavatory removed from Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire, southern England, where he lived from 1969 to 1971, and replaced with a new one.

The builders who took away the white and blue lavatory were told to "put some flowers in it or something," according to the auction catalog.

Builder John Hancock stored it in his shed for 40 years until he died recently and the lavatory was sent for sale, British media reports said.

The toilet was among Beatles memorabilia sold at auction as part of the Beatle week festival in Liverpool, the group's native city in northwest England. The pre-auction estimate was 750 to 1,000 pounds.

Anne-Marie Trace, who works at the Beatles Shop in Liverpool which organized the sale, said the high price paid had taken the organizers by surprise.

"I think it's the most unusual item we've ever had in our auction," she told Reuters.

The buyer was not identified but Trace said it was likely it was "going overseas."

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Jon Hemming)