Shots of The Beatles’ first US concerts will be auctioned in Liverpool on March 24.
The images are expected to sell for £250,000 ($347,000).

The photographer Mike Mitchell, when he was only 18 years old, snapped hundreds of never before seen photographs of the band’s performances at the Washington Coliseum and the Baltimore Civic Centre in 1964. Mike Mitchell captured the excitement of this first British Invasion.

The resulting negatives, taken only with ambient light, since Mitchell had no flash, were put away in a box and sat for decades in his basement. The advent of digital technology allowed them to be fully realised as luminous records of this historical moment. The photographs are intimate, due to Mitchell’s proximity to the band; they are moody, the result of existing light; and they are innocent, reflecting a time of heightened optimism.

The complete archive comprises 413 negatives from the two concerts. The negatives of 46 of the images were digitally restored and seen for the first time in 2011 when Christie’s in New York held a special auction dedicated entirely to this collection. Each print was 1/1 by virtue of a tiny ‘heart’ moniker hidden within. Forty three lots sold for a total of $362,000 (approx. £224,000).

This lot includes the entire archive of 413 negatives together with high-resolution digital files of the 46 digitally restored images, a further 10 digitally restored images which were not used, original printed contact sheets and high-resolution scans of all contact sheets. The entire archive is to be sold with full copyright.

Apart from the 46 images used in 2011, the remainder of the images are previously unseen/unpublished.

Leave a Reply