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Sgt. Pepper Insert Collage (1967)
By Sir Peter Blake, RA
Size: (30.5 x 30.5 centimetres) 12 x 12 inches
Estimated price: £50,000-80,000

It won’t have escaped the notice of music fans that October 2012 is the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ first single, Love Me Do. Next month, Sotheby’s London will be offering a slice of musical history, in the form of the original collage of the inner sleeve insert of the band’s ground-breaking 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

It’s difficult to understand now the impact Sgt. Pepper made on the cultural landscape, but suffice to say the critic Kenneth Clark called this, the first ever concept album, (in which music, story, image and studio experience all came together) “a decisive moment in Western Civilisation”.

Peter Blake was introduced to The Beatles through his dealer Robert Fraser and worked closely with Paul McCartney and John Lennon to create the artwork’s distinctive imagery. The album’s cover, featuring The Beatles photographed and surrounded by an elaborately constructed cast of cut-out famous figures has been endlessly referenced and frequently lampooned.

The insert, created as a collage by Blake, was found inside the left-hand opening of the then-revolutionary gate-leg album and depicted the eponymous Sgt. Pepper himself. It presented fans with a set of sergeant’s stripes, a moustache and badge which they could cut out and keep.

Sotheby’s Modern & Post-War British Art Sale will take place on November 13. For more information please visit www.sothebys.com.

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 14, 2012.

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