A number of Beatles treasures will be put up for auction in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Thursday, auction organizers told journalists.
The bidding will take place at Cuidad Bank, the auction’s sponsor. There will be 122 lots that were, in some way or another, part of the history of the Fab Four. They include sheet music, autographed musical instruments, personal belongings, platinum and gold discs, unique photographs, signed checks, original concert posters, and more.
The lots range in price from $150 to tens of thousands of dollars. The asking price for a Christie’s certified drawing by John Lennon of himself and Yoko Ono is $22,500. All the lots were put on display at Cuidad before the auction.
The collection belongs to Raul Blisniuk, an Argentine of Ukrainian descent, who began collecting at age 13 and didn’t stop for the next 40 years. In 1998, the 3,000-piece collection was entered in the Guinness Book of Records as South America’s largest collection of Beatles memorabilia. Today it numbers over 10,000 pieces.
This is the second Beatles auction in Buenos Aires. Such auctions are usually held in New York or London. A year ago, 500 bidders competed for 144 lots. Argentine soccer star Javier Zanetti bought a bass guitar signed by Paul McCartney for $35,200. A John Lennon drawing sold for $12,000, and a “White Album” cover signed by the Fab Four fetched over $30,000. Last year’s auction generated $500,000, even though some items were left unsold.
Buenos Aires has hosted the annual Latin American Beatles Festival for ten years. Last November the festival was won by the group Beatle Juice, who were rewarded with a trip to Liverpool, where they performed at The Cavern Club, the famous rock club where the Beatles performed nearly 300 times before they achieved world-wide fame.
In January, a 53-year-old Buenos Aires accountant, Rodolfo Vazquez, opened a Beatles museum, Beatles Land, featuring some 2,200 items. Located in downtown Correntez St. a few blocks from the Obelisk, the symbol of Buenos Aires, Beatles Land has received tens of thousands of visitors. Apart from the museum, Beatles Land includes The Cavern Club Buenos Aires, a restaurant, a street café and the John Lennon Theater, featuring a play written by Vazquez, “Diamonds in Paradise,” about John Lennon and George Harrison meeting in heaven.