It's been 5 years since we published our first Band-Signed Beatles Album Census.
It's time to update it!
A history of full-band-signed Beatles album prices would be hugely helpful to the marketplace as well, going back as far as we can, so let's build that, too. Not just from auctions, but reports from collectors and dealers who have sold them.
For starters, please read the 2011 Census, which had a few years of updating and other input added by collectors and dealers.
Add your research and commentary to this discussion for now, and as we get more data, we'll post two separate discussions to fine tune it. Once we feel comfortable with the information we have and what we have determined, we'll publish reports that will help collectors and dealers worldwide make better educated decisions on Beatles album sales and purchases.
These are the results of the 2011 census:
US Release Band-Signed Beatles Albums
0 “Introducing the Beatles” [Added to list on Sept. 16, 2019]
6-7 “Meet the Beatles”
1 “Beatles 65”
1 “Beatles VI”
0 “Rubber Soul”
0 “Magical Mystery Tour”
0 “Abbey Road” +1 offered by Autographs for Sale on eBay starting Mar. 16, 2019
0 “Yellow Submarine”
1 “White Album” +1 sold by Tracks in Nov/Dec 2013 for $186,000; +1 more signed for the same person who got the other 2 signed (added 3/13/19)
1 “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
0 “Let it Be”
17 US Albums Known
UK Release Band-Signed Beatles Albums
Roughly 75 “Please Please Me” (Their first album, signed in three 1963 UK promotional tours)
16-21 “With the Beatles” (The tail end of their easier accessibility) [Editor's Note: 1 since April 2011 added.]
8-10 “Hard Day’s Night”
3 “Beatles for Sale”
1 “Rubber Soul” +1
5 “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” +1 sold by Bonhams on June 30, 2016
0 “Magical Mystery Tour” (All reissues from the 1980s and up.)
0 “White Album”
0 “Yellow Submarine”
2 “Abbey Road”
0 “Let it Be”
Roughly 113-120 UK Albums Known (38-45 plus roughly 75 “Please Please Me” albums)
Let's do it!
Except that given the rarity of fully signed albums, it would be hard for this to reappear in the future, with no one noticing that it is the same album, which could really cause issues for the auction house if they didn't disclose it.
No I think if this resurfaced in 10 years it could very easily be sold without acknowledging any restoration at all. Or sold privately a few times with the history conveniently forgotten.
Well, maybe if someone sat on it for 10 years, it might slide by, and just about anything could slide by in one or more private sales. But, if someone wants to unload something like this in a larger auction, it is probably going to be closely examined, and the history may pop up. I wonder whether the seller of this knew about or had the restoration done, or whether it was discovered by the auction house or their authenticators.
Most people who are going to spend over a certain amount of money for a Beatles signed piece will want a reputable LOA or COA. A major auction house down the road will not be able to sell this as "unrestored" - too many people know now. So if they don't realize it when they put it up well they will hear from viewers of the auction. It is a novelty piece now. Having said that. There will always be someone looking for a deal that is too good to be true. So a private auction....Or in South America....etc...
Part of the price comes from the LOA from Tracks. And it appears clearly from such LOA that the item was restored. In the LOA from 2007, the sigs are already partially gone and the LOA of 2019 is just a complement about the restoration. Difficult to sell with the LOA of 2007 without explaining the restoration... And may be difficult to sell with no LOA at all...