Drum kit Ringo Starr used in Beatles hits sells for $2.2M

5 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ringo Starr’s Patek Philippe Fetches Almost $180,000 at California Auction.

If you ever wanted to own one of Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drums that were made in Monroe, or a multitude of other items from the ex-Beatle, then now’s your chance.On Thursday, Los Angeles-based Julien’s Auctions hosted a 1,367-lot sale dedicated to the property of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and actress Barbara Bach. Buried in the couple’s possessions, among everything from Lichtenstein prints to old scarves and Adidas sneakers, was Lot 167, a gold Patek Philippe wristwatch that fetched $179,200.

The trio of Monroe-made kits include one from 1989 Ringo played with his All-Starr Band, (pre-auction estimate $50,000-$70,000), a 2002 gold sparkle kit from the “Concert for George” ($30,000-$50,000) and a 2011 studio drum kit ($20,000-$40,000.) But those are relative steals compared with the kit that helped launch Beatlemania and Ludwig’s fortunes – Ringo’s first Ludwig drum set. Julien’s listed the watch with a $40,000 starting bid and an estimate of $80,000 to $100,000, which is significantly less than you’d expect for a basic 3448. He has spoken of how he bought it in London before the Beatles came to the states, enamored by its look, its sound and its American origins – a loyalty that has lasted for more than 50 years. The watch is on a worn-in strap from famous London jeweler Asprey, indicating he may have purchased it there to begin with, adding value for collectors.

Last month, Julien’s sold a 1962 acoustic guitar of John Lennon’s for $2.4 million, triple the pre-auction estimate, while the Beatles “T-logo” drum head from their 1964 “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance fetched $2.1 million. Yes, crazed Beatles fans dueling with their auction paddles could easily have driven the price much higher, but those kinds of results only distort the market. The price paid for this watch would be high without its provenance, but it seems like a reasonable premium (if one can even try to assess the value of such things). It bills itself as “The Auction House to the Stars,” having sold Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” jacket, one of Marilyn Monroe’s movie dresses and a guitar owned by Elvis.

Looking at other celebrity watches for a sense of scale, an actual James Bond Rolex drew $365,000 last month at Phillips, and in 2012 a Heuer Monaco worn by Steve McQueen in Le Mans sold for almost $800,000, under two very different sets of conditions. Flip through one of the two online catalogs for this week’s sale and see the range of items, which appear like a magical mystery tour of Ringo’s career and life. Ringo’s Patek sits almost halfway between the two: The Bond watch doesn’t function and is just a movie prop at this point, but it was still sold at a dedicated watch auction, while the McQueen Monaco is a functioning timekeeper sold at a thematic auction of Hollywood memorabilia. John Lennon is known to have worn a yellow gold ref. 2499, which is a perpetual calendar chronograph (to one-up Ringo’s “basic” perpetual calendar).

He said when Ringo was at Julien’s recently for a photo shoot with his first Ludwig kit, he looked up at a big black-and-white photo of the Beatles and said, “There’s the boys, we’ll always be the boys.” Then he sat down, took a pair of drum sticks Astridge was holding and played the kit for the first time in half a century.

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