2019 Summer Premium Live and Catalog Auction Lots 1-82 Close Aug 1- 83-end close 8/10
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/11/2019

John Lennon attended The Liverpool College of Art in 1957 through 1960. It was there that he met his future wife Cynthia and also Stuart Sutcliffe, who became his best friend, band mate, and is widely credited for naming “The Beatles”. John loved creating art, and he had a talent for it. He wasn’t a model student there however – he often cut class and went to the local pub, “Richard Buskin Ye Cracke”, and ticked off some of the teachers there at the school – but nonetheless he did hone his skill as an artist to some degree while at The Liverpool College of Art.

It was during the time he was there that he drew this self-caricature profile view of himself standing at a podium, with long hair and his glasses, giving a straight armed Nazi salute. Below and to the right, where the crowd would be situated, he wrote “HEIL JOHN” 4 times. The placement of the writing would seem to indicate these are chants coming from where the crowd would be below, although no people were illustrated. John did have longstanding a fascination with Nazi Germany and had a collection of medals and it was a recurring theme for many years.

On the back cover of his first published book “In His Own Write”, John alludes to “the Nasties” and “Madalf Heatlump” when giving his brief bio “About The Awful”. While on the 1964 World Tour, when The Beatles were appearing on a balcony high above a dense crowd of Australian fans, John gave the Nazi salute and photos were taken from multiple angles. He also did it when The Beatles were in Liverpool on July 10, 1964.

It was a theme that continued on through the years when it was John who chose to include Adolf Hitler in and amongst the crowd of famous faces that adorned The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover. In fact a full sized standee was made for the cover but was removed at the last minute and it was removed and placed off to the side, where it can be seen it outtake photographs which show a wider view of the room in which the cover shot was taken by photographer Michael Cooper. Although a cutout was never made, Jesus was another suggestion that was offered by John for inclusion on the iconic album cover.

In Great Britain decades ago, it was fairly common to see British rock and roll stars mocking the Nazi’s and that salute. Keith Moon was among them and he would visit pubs and restaurants dressed in Nazi attire. Dressing up as Nazi’s had been a part of British comedy tradition and was seen in sitcoms in the U.K. Years later David Gilmour of Pink Floyd gave the salute in 1980 while on tour for “The Wall” and while John was probably the first rock star celebrity to do, he certainly wasn’t the last. Clearly none of these artists embraced Nazi ideals and it was always done in a mocking way.

Measuring 8 ¾ x 11 ¾ inches, this sketch was in a personal ring binder sketchbook of John’s drawings that was owned until 1991 by Cynthia, sold by her to a man who had privately appraised for her John’s collection of medals which included two Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross medals, a post war Austrian commemorative medal, among others.

The overall condition of the page is good, with a vertical crease running down the left side and a ½” tear between the binder holes. This very early piece of Lennon artwork depicts John drawing a satirical picture of himself at a young age, well before The Beatles became a household name.

Please note: this listing is not meant to hurt or offend anyone in any way. John Lennon was a very complex man with a wide range of evolving interests and viewpoints, some quite controversial. He was in no way pro-Nazi and while he had a seemingly years long interest in this area, he never promoted it an any way.

John Lennon Self Caricature Drawing, One of The Earliest Known, Depicting Him Giving A Nazi Salute (Caiazzo LOA)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $9,840.00
Number Bids: 4
Auction closed on Sunday, August 11, 2019.
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