A letter John Lennon wrote to The Queen explaining why he returned his MBE has been valued at £60,000 in a Beatles memorabilia day in Liverpool.
The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, discovered the letter hidden away in the sleeve of a record that was part of a collection of 45s, which was picked up for £10 at a car boot sale 20 years ago.
Described as an “incredible find” by music memorabilia expert Darren Julien, the anonymous owner was stunned and delighted to discover it could be worth such a huge sum of money.
Darren Julien of LA based Julien’s Auctions, led the event at The Beatles Story and told JMU Journalism: “The person who it belongs to didn’t think it was authentic at first because of the smudges on the letter. They just couldn’t believe it; they were shaking, and were delighted and stunned.
“They thought it was a copy because of the smudged signature, but we think this letter was written as a draft before he [John Lennon] wrote up a second version, which was the one which was actually sent to the Queen.”
John Lennon, along with the other members of The Beatles, initially accepted the MBE in 1965, but Lennon famously rejected his in 1969.
YouTube: John Lennon Imagine
The document reads: “I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts.”
Other signed finds were valued during the memorabilia day, including a programme signed by all four of The Beatles valued at £10,000, a £5,000 signed photograph of The Fab Four and a pair of Beatles nylon stockings valued at £300.
Mr Julien added: “Beatles memorabilia sells really well nationally. We priced this around £60,000, but we have once sold a John Lennon acoustic guitar, which was found in San Diego, for $2.4 million.”