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Beatles Pepper Collage on Sale; Hirst AK-47 Aids Charity

Beatles Collage
The original Peter Blake collage for the insert that was added to the Beatles' 1967 "Sgt. Pepper" album. Formerly owned by the U.K. architect, the late Colin St. John Wilson, it sold in a Sotheby's auction of Modern British art in London on Nov. 13, 2012. Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg.

Original artwork for the “Sgt. Pepper” album may sell for as much as 80,000 pounds ($129,000), 50 years after the Beatles released their first record.

Peter Blake’s original collage for the insert in the 1967 album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is included in Sotheby’s Nov. 13 auction of Modern British art, the auction house said in an e-mailed release today.

Owned by the late architect Colin St. John Wilson, who designed the British Library in London’s St. Pancras area, the collage has a minimum valuation of 50,000 pounds.

Blake worked closely with John Lennon and Paul McCartney to create the imagery of Sgt. Pepper. The British Pop artist designed both the record sleeve and the insert, the latter featuring cut-out sergeant’s stripes and a clip-on moustache.

The Beatles’ debut single, “Love Me Do,” was released on Oct. 5, 1962. It reached number 17 in the U.K. charts. The Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys are also marking their 50th anniversary this year.

Hirst Rifle

Damien Hirst’s spin painting on an assault rifle fetched the top price in an auction that raised $675,000 for a peace charity.

Hirst’s “Spin AK-47 for Peace One Day” sold for 55,000 pounds ($89,000) last night in London. It had been estimated at 25,000 pounds to 35,000 pounds in a Phillips de Pury & Co. auction of works donated by contemporary artists to benefit Peace One Day’s Global Truce 2013 campaign.

The project, titled “AKA Peace,” was conceived by photographer Bran Symondson, a former soldier who served in Afghanistan. It followed an exhibition at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts showing 24 works by artists such as Antony Gormley, Marc Quinn and Sam Taylor-Wood inspired by the AK-47. The ICA show was curated by Jake Chapman, who, together with his brother Dinos, was among the contributing artists.

“I am not readily associated with a sense of philanthropic optimism,” Chapman said in a statement before the sale. “But after a meeting with (charity organizer) Jeremy Gilley, my pessimism was suspended in favor of supporting this audacious attempt to intervene against human injustice.”

Gormley’s “Silence”, featuring a section of steel with one of the Russia-designed AK-47s, sold for 50,000 pounds.

The Chapman Brothers’ fiber-glass sculptures of assault rifle-toting girls, “Yin” and “Yang,” went for 35,000 pounds and 45,000 pounds.

All 24 of the lots sold, raising a formal total of 417,100 pounds for Global Truce 2013. Phillips didn’t charge fees.


Muse highlights include Lewis Lapham on history, Zinta Lundborg’s New York weekend and Jeremy Gerard on theater.

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