Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Lennons Loo makes $15,500 at auction

The porcelain toilet John Lennon used between 1969 and 1972 has been sold to a collector at a Liverpool auction for $15,500.

The porcelain lavatory was from the ex-Beatle’s Tittenhurst home in Berkshire, England.

BBC News reports that auction organizer Stephen Bailey said: “It is unbelievable.

We had bids coming in from all over the place but it went to a private overseas buyer.”

The sale took place in The Paul McCartney Auditorium at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

As Gibson.com reported when the auction was announced, the toilet had been given to a builder, John Hancock, and kept in his shed for almost 40 years until his recent death.

Also sold at the auction at The Paul McCartney Auditorium at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was a mono version of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins, sold for $4,500, and a harmonica that belonged to Julian Lennon. John gave it to the builder because his son was driving him crazy playing the instrument.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

John Lennon's Toilet for auction.

John Lennon's toilet is set to go under the hammer this week after it was discovered in his former builder’s shed after forty years.

The famous throne will be one of two hundred and ninety five items of Beatles memorabilia to be auctioned on the day at the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts.

The exceptional items at the action include the lavatory and one of Lennon’s rarest albums still in circulation, Two Virgins.

The album was a mono-sound recording which he produced with Yoko Ono in November 1968 and is expected to fetch at least £2,500.

When the avant garde LP was released it was infamous for being sold in brown paper bags because the sleeve controversially featured a naked picture of John and Yoko.

Bids are also being invited for Lennon's toilet which was taken from Tittenhurst Park, his Berkshire home between 1969 and 1972.

Lennon told builder John Hancock he could have the porcelain lavatory after installing a new one. John remarked to him he should "use it as a plant pot".

It was stored in a shed at Hancock's home for some 40 years until he died recently and was salvaged by a relative. The toilet is estimated to fetch £750 to £1,000.

Auctioneer Stephen Bailey said: "The toilet might be worth something, and it might not, but it is certainly one of the more unusual items we've sold."

Bailey, who is also manager of The Beatles Shop in Liverpool, added: "I have only ever come across two other mono copies of Two Virgins before so that will be the one to watch. Even at the end of the sixties, during such a bohemian period, the picture of a naked couple on the album cover still caused a great deal of scandal."

"The stereo version sold relatively few copies at a time when any one of the Beatles could easily have shifted hundreds of thousands of records."

The auction will take place next Saturday at the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Hustle con

Hustle con

A couple of nights ago I watched The Real Hustle: Celebrity Scammers on BBC. It’s on again tonight on BBC 3 at 7pm.

In it a punter is taken for £1,900 in a sham auction con. The ‘mark’ overhears someone in a bar receiving a phone call to say that a certain picture in a nearby junk shop is worth £2000 and is on sale for £50. While that person nips to the toilet, the marks goes to the shop and buys the picture. They are met outside by the person who was on the phone who tells them that the picture is worth £2k and that while he would not be making any money (Oh Yeah!) he has a friend with an auctionrooms around the corner who could slip it in to the auction which was about to start (as if!!). There are about 20 customers at the auction. The first conman tells the marks that they might have to bid the picture up a bit. They are bidding against a phone bidder who they already are told will go to £3k. The mark is at £1900 when the phone ‘breaks down’ and the picture is knocked down to the mark. The con men then organise a deal with the phone bidder and pay the mark with a check, but he has first of all to pay the £1900 for the picture, which he does in cash. He still thinks that he has made a big profit, except, of course that the cheque is a dud.

My complaint is that the program itself is a con. Think about it:

3 principal con artists.
About 20 bit players.
Hire of an ‘auctionrooms’
Plus the signs, props etc

ALL FOR A TAKE OF £1,900!!!

On another matter: I watched the One Show, also on BBC during the week. On it the presenter was speaking about the 1933 1d. She stated that the coin was worth about £65,000 – probably correct. However, she was handling the coin, not very professionally, with her bare hands. If I had a £65k coin I would not let someone like that handle it without gloves. My guess is that the coin was a replica.