The early copy of the band's "Yesterday and Today" album caused controversy when it was released in the U.S. in 1966, as a result of its cover which shows the band smiling, dressed in white coats and covered in pieces of raw meat and decapitated baby dolls.
The image is believed to be the group's protest against the Vietnam War, and was subsequently withdrawn and replaced with more publicity-friendly artwork.
Lennon's personal copy of the record, which was apparently hung on the wall of his New York apartment before being gifted to fan Dave Morrell in the early 1970s, is estimated to sell for $178,754 (£136,000) when it goes under the hammer at Julien's Auctions annual event, "Music Icons: The Beatles In Liverpool", in May.
View this post on Instagram
Music Icons: The Beatles In Liverpool Thursday, May 9, 2019 The rarest Beatles record in the world - John Lennon’s personal “Yesterday and Today” butcher album prototype, a Beatles signed baseball from their final U.S. concert, John Lennon’s and Ringo Starr’s Tittenhurst park door, John Lennon’s signed guitar strap and more will rock The Beatles memorabilia auction event of the season Julien’s Auctions and The Beatles Story Bring Back “Memorabilia Day” Friday, May 10 in Spectacular Two-Day Beatlemania Event Los Angeles, California – (March 21, 2019) – Julien’s Auctions, the world-record breaking auction house, has announced that MUSIC ICONS: THE BEATLES IN LIVERPOOL, their annual auction extravaganza of the Fab Four’s most iconic and historic memorabilia to take place on Thursday, May 9 live for the first time at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool, UK, the birthplace of The Beatles and online at juliensauctions.com. In addition Julien’s Auctions will partner once again with The Beatles Story to bring their Beatles and Merseybeat “Memorabilia Day” back home to Liverpool on Friday, May 10th 2019 (12-8 p.m. GMT) for a spectacular two-day Beatlemania event. Fans and collectors are invited to bring in their Beatles memorabilia to have appraised by the experts for free at The Beatles Story’s Fab4 Cafe on the Royal Albert Dock. The Beatles are the foremost and most influential music band of all time that were a phenomenon upon their arrival on the music scene in Liverpool in 1960 and changed pop culture forever with their music, style and innovations which continue to reverberate within millions of artists and fans worldwide today. One of the highly anticipated items announced today is John Lennon’s owned and signed album “Yesterday And Today” (1966), a U.S. First State Butcher album prototype stereo example, considered by Beatles experts as the rarest Beatles record in the world. Learn more at www.JuliensAuctions.com. #TheBeatles #BeatlesStory #Liverpool #Memorabilia #Auction #RingoStarr #JohnLennon #PaulMcCartney #GeorgeHarrison
The collectors item includes a hand-written message from Lennon to Morrell, reading "To Dave, from John Lennon, Dec 7th 1971," and has a sketch on the back by the singer, showing a man holding a shovel with his dog in front of a setting sun.
Other items in the lot include Lennon's school detention record, a Les Paul Junior guitar that was owned and signed by the "Imagine" hitmaker, and a signed baseball from the band's final U.S. concert in August 1966.
Elsewhere, one of McCartney's teenage exercise books from 1959 is also up for sale and is expected to bring in as much as $13,137 (£10,000) when it is auctioned at Omega Auctions in Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside, on Tuesday, March 26.