A sealed, first state copy of the Beatles' infamous Butcher Cover LP was the star lot of Heritage Auctions' entertainment memorabilia sale on February 20.
It sold for $125,000.
The image was never intended to be used as an album cover. It comes from a 1966 photoshoot by Robert Whittaker titled A Somnambulant Adventure.
However, Paul McCartney was very keen to use it as a statement on the Vietnam War and chose it for the cover of a US-only greatest hits record, titled Yesterday & Today.
It proved unpopular with many of the DJs and journalists, who threatened to boycott it unless the artwork was changed.
Most copies of the record were released with a pasted on generic cover, but a few first state copies remain in circulation.
Heritage comments: "A very limited number of 'first state' albums got out and were kept by journalists, radio stations, and record company executives…
"Again, a much smaller number of these were never removed from their shrink wrap.
"An infinitesimal number of those still-sealed examples were kept in the beautiful condition of this one. This is a worthy addition to even the most advanced Beatle collections."
Paul Fraser Collectibles paid $35,000 for a lock of John Lennon's hair in the same auction, read all about it here.
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