Pop phenomenon The Beatles never played in Lichfield but have turned up - in miniature - at an antique valuation day in the city.
A Lichfield client went along to Hansons Auctioneers’ weekly event at The Hedgehog Inn with four dolls representing each member of The Beatles. Made of rubber and complete with realistic hairstyles, the rare dolls were issued in 1964 by Seltaeb.
Adrian Rathbone, associate director at Hansons, said: “Seltaeb, which is Beatles in reverse, was set up in 1963 by Nicky Byrne on behalf of Brian Epstein, The Beatles manager, to aid merchandising interests.
“Byrne accepted the role subject to a 90% rate, leaving only 10% for The Beatles. Unaware of the potential market that existed, particularly in America, Epstein agreed to the deal and subsequently lost The Beatles an estimated $100,000,000 in potential income.”
The Beatles dolls, estimate £150-200, will go under the hammer at Hansons’ Toy Auction on September 20.
Mr Rathbone said: “You just never know what will turn up at a valuation day or home visit. We see numerous tea sets and general china – much with little or no value. Occasionally, something out of the ordinary turns up and that’s what make my job so interesting.
“Although I am not old enough to have lived at the height of Beatlemania, I can well imagine the delight the Fab Four’s original owner had. They’ve clearly been cherished as they’re in good condition. These dolls are rarely seen on the auction market as most were played with and lost over time.”
Something of interest lurking in your attic? Hansons holds free valuation days for all manner of jewellery, watches silver and antiques and collectables every Monday, 10.30am to 12.30pm, at The Hedgehog Inn, Stafford Road, Lichfield, WS13 8JB. The event is held in aid of St Giles Hospice. Free parking and refreshments. Free home visits can be arranged for large, bulky, multiple items, house clearance and downsizing advice.
For further information, contact Adrian Rathbone on 01283 733988 or email [email protected]