A painting done collectively by all four Beatles when the band was on tour in Japan in 1966, plus original artwork by rock legend Frank Zappa and contracts and a black leather jacket from the late rapper Biggie Smalls (aka “The Notorious B.I.G”) will headline a three-day auction extravaganza scheduled for Sept. 13-15 by Philip Weiss Auctions.
The auction will be held in Philip Weiss Auctions’ spacious gallery, located at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside, N.Y. The music memorabilia will be part of the event’s sandwich day – Friday, Sept. 14, starting at 2 p.m. (EST). The day will also feature ocean liner and transportation collectibles, and Hollywood memorabilia, to include magazine cover art from the '20s and ‘30s.
The Beatles visited Japan only once – in 1966, and for exactly 100 hours. They were bored, holed up in their VIP suite in Tokyo’s Hilton Hotel, so to pass the time they were given a 30 inch by 40 inch canvas and some paints and told to have some fun (either by the Japanese promoter of the tour or Brian Epstein, the group’s manager). The result was Images of a Woman.
The canvas was placed on a table, with a lamp in the center. Working by the light of the lamp, each Beatle decorated his quarter of the canvas with oil paints and watercolors. Paul’s had a symmetrical, psychedelic feel; John’s had a dark center, surrounded by thick oils; George’s was large and colorful; Ringo’s was cartoon-like. The white center was signed by all the Beatles.
When done, the group presented the painting as a gift to Tetsuaburo Shimoyama, the Beatles’ fan club president in Japan. It has changed hands a few times over the years, and the consignor for this auction is a collector from Japan. “It’s anybody’s guess how much this rare, one-of-a-kind piece will bring,” said Philip Weiss. “It is a Holy Grail of Beatles collectibles.”
The Frank Zappa painting is a stylized rendering of a drum shop that was featured on TV’s History Detectives. It, too, should generate considerable interest. The Biggie Smalls items include his contract termination from Uptown Records, signed by Andre Harrell and Christopher Wallace (Biggie’s real name) and an escrow agreement signed by Sean Combs (aka “P. Diddy”).
Offered separately, also on Friday, will be the original black leather jacket owned by “The Notorious B.I.G.,” six RIP hand cards for the late rapper Tupac Shakur, and four original crime scene photos of the BMW that Tupac was riding in at the time of his shooting death. Also sold will be an archive of letters relating to the conception of rap label Bad Boy Entertainment.
Concert posters will feature a scarce 1967 Jimi Hendrix Hapshash Fillmore poster, a 1969 Janis Joplin Oklahoma poster and a 1967 Sam & Dave poster. Also sold will be a collection of original John Lennon photos by Nishi Saimaru, Michael Jackson family color slides from the 1970s, and 8mm and 16mm b/w films of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who and more.
The Friday session will also feature over 600 original photos of jazz greats taken by Burt Goldblatt, the “Ansel Adams of Jazz.” The photos will include such legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzie Gillespie and more. Goldblatt produced album covers, publicity stills and art photography from the 1930s-1960s.
Rounding out Friday’s offerings will be a rare First Class dining room chair from the S.S. Normandie, an original recovered life preserver ring from the sunken ocean liner Andrea Doria, box lots of photos and negatives of various stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age, a large group of movie poster half-sheets, one-sheets, inserts (and larger), and an original 1926 Photoplay Magazine medal presented to Paramount Pictures for the film Beau Geste, with Ronald Colman.
The Thursday, Sept. 13 session (also with a 2 p.m. start time) will be dedicated mainly to stamps, coins and postcards. Stamps will include lots of U.S. mint sheets and plate blocks, better sets and singles from the U.S. and Europe, a nice collection of Russian stamps, another important installment from the Great Lakes Collection and a number of lots from the original FDR auction.
Between 50,000 and 100,000 postcards, in a variety of categories, will come up for bid. Featured will be holidays and artist-signed cards, as well as many city and state cards. Also sold will be a collection of Kirchner postcards, trade cards, other paper ephemera, lots of Czarist period postcards, special reference material, college postcards, silks and leathers and much more.
The final day of the auction – Saturday, Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. – will have toys, trains, pressed steel, play sets and more. Offered will be a collection of pressed steel trucks, Marx play sets and a great selection of vintage toys, to include Lehmann, Schoenhut, tin litho, lunch boxes, model kits, board games and more. Toy trains will include Part 2 of the Finger Lakes Collection.
That collection features fresh-to-the-market, high-end American and European trains and accessories, to include European Stations, American Flyer, Lionel, Marklin, Bing, Ives and other important makers. There will also be another installment of HO Brass engines from the Kozsey estate, a large collection of HO trains from a Washington estate, “G” scale LGB and much more.
Internet bidding will be provided by Proxibid.com and Auctionzip.com, and phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Philip Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (516) 594-0731; or, you can send an e-mail to Philip Weiss at Phil@WeissAuctions.com.
For more information about Philip Weiss Auctions and the Sept. 13-15 multi-estate auction, please log on to www.weissauctions.com.