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Unpublished Beatles Photos
24 November 2019
A Beginning
Forum Posts: 1
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24 November 2019
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I’m hoping you might be able to help.
My father, now in his late 80’s, is a retired news photographer from the Pacific Northwestern United States. He was employed by a major NW newspaper from the early 1950’s through the mid-1980’s.
During that period he photographed the many celebrities of the day that came to town.
He photographed the Beatles in Seattle during their first US tour, and had many candid backstage shots of them that were not published by the paper. He took many with his own personal camera. Ringo Starr bummed a smoke from Dad that evening!
He also has numerous unpublished, candid photos of Elvis Presley on an early tour in Seattle.
Dad has asked that we wait until he has passed to do anything with these negatives. Amongst us siblings, I have been chosen to make exploratory inquiries into how we’ll proceed.
I would like to ask a few questions…
1) How does one go about auctioning these items?
2) Is the value decreasing or increasing over time?
3) What sort of provenance would be needed, or of use?
Thank you for your time.
24 November 2019
Ron Nasty
Apple rooftop

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17 December 2012
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Hi @sheriM

It sounds as if your father has a major archive. When the time comes, you should approach a major auction house — Sotherby’s and Christies come to mind — with as much of the archive as you are prepared to part with, mentioning that it includes unpublished photos of the Beatles, Elvis and other celebrities. They will likely examine the archive for free and come up with a way to market it in the best way, splitting it into separate lots, etc., with more valuable items like the Beatles photos becoming their own lot.

The value increases for unpublished photographs of celebrities, especially the Beatles and Elvis. The important question to be able to answer is copyright, and whether your father or his former employer owns the copyright. While pictures taken on his own camera are most likely his copyright, pictures taken as part of his job may not be. Your father hopefully knows whether he holds copyright, and it’s important to know as a photograph that can be sold with copyright is worth more than one sold without copyright.

The provenance would be your father’s career; if you could get your father to add his memories of encounters and big stories he’s covered that would add provenance and likely value. Either have him write notes to go with the more memorable sets of photos or record him talking about the archive and then you can pick out bits to go with the right photos. That detail of Ringo bumming a cigarette adds to the story of the photographs.

There is a good chance your father’s archive could prove extremely valuable; the Beatles and Elvis images, sold with copyright, depending on the amount, could easily be worth $10,000+ for each group. That’s $20,000+ without knowing what else, and who else, is there.

The important thing for you and your siblings to do when the time comes is to get the archive appraised by an auction house, possibly a couple as you may prefer the approach of one to the other to how best to market it.

I hope this helps.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

To @ Ron Nasty it's @ mja6758
The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

25 November 2019
Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea



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I just came across this story yesterday of some unpublished Beatles photos.…..ur-emerge/

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