‘I have to tell our insurers!’ Antiques Roadshow guest amazed by Beatles memorabilia value
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Antiques Roadshow took a trip to Stowe House in Buckinghamshire in a classic episode of the hit BBC show. While there, Fiona Bruce and the team saw a wide range of interesting items, but it was a collection of Beatles memorabilia that intrigued expert Paul Atterbury. One guest brought in a range of items relating to the iconic Liverpudlian band, but was left stunned when he discovered their true value.
Paul began: “Like most people of my generation, I will willingly confess to being a Beatles fan.
“I’m old enough to have grown up with them. Indeed, I saw them in December 1963.
“Here we have, rather unexpectedly, clearly a Beatles story but it’s something with a difference, isn’t it?
“Where does it begin?” he asked.
The guest explained the collection belonged to Stowe School, of which he was the headmaster.
He revealed: “It begins in the Cavern Club back in Liverpool and an old Stowe called David Moores, who was 17-years-old.
“He’d heard about The Beatles playing in his local town, went to the Cavern Club and thought, ‘This is a band I’d like some of my friends to hear’.
“He had the initiative to write to their manager Brian Epstein, aged 17, and invite The Beatles to come and play at Stowe.
“So, this is the beginning of a correspondence that we’ve got,” he said.
Paul commented: “So, this is the documentation of that gig?”
“It’s one gig from inception to completion,” the guest replied.
Paul remarked: “It’s a very, very rare collection of materials. It’s got the contract, it’s got a photograph of the gig, it’s the whole history of it, isn’t it?”
The expert then moved on to take a closer look at some of the other items in the collection.
Looking at some sculptures of the iconic band, Paul asked to know how they came into the possession of the school.
The headmaster explained the sculptures were made by former Stowe student and famous British sculptor David Wynne.
He revealed David was once working on a project where he produced busts of famous musicians and travelled to Paris where The Beatles were playing to model them.
After examining the range of items in the collection, Paul said: “Now, we’re looking at a lot of stuff and a lot of very important things.
“I’m only going to give you a global value because I think breaking it down to bits and pieces is unhelpful.
“This is a great archive, it’s a great range of material. You’ve got to be looking at least £50,000.
“Probably between £50,000 and £100,000 because of the intricacy, the rarity, and of course the sculptural quality of the things involved,” he explained.
Slightly stunned by the value, the headmaster remarked: “Oh, I’ll have to tell our insurers that.”
Antiques Roadshow is available on BBC iPlayer now.
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