The Beatles’ self-titled album from 1968, is famous for its sleeve designed by pop artist Richard Hamilton, in collaboration with Paul McCartney. Hamilton’s design was in stark contrast to Peter Blake’s vivid cover art for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and consisted of a plain white sleeve. The band’s name was discreetly embossed slightly below the middle of the album’s right side, and the cover also featured a unique stamped serial number, “to create”, in Hamilton’s words, “the ironic situation of a numbered edition of something like five million copies”. In 2008, an original pressing of the album with serial number 0000005 sold for £19,201 on eBay.
Get ready for what could be the ultimate item from this era.
A UK first pressing mono copy of the double LP, The Beatles aka The White Album with first press green apple labels, each disc with a “Factory Sample, Not for Sale” sticker, housed in a top-loading, fully laminated thick card stock “Garrod & Lofthouse” cover listing stereo and mono catalog numbers on the spine, numbered: No.0000001 is going up for bids at Julien’s. It has been widely known among collectors that the four members of the Beatles kept numbers 1 through 4, but it was not commonly known that Starr was given the No.0000001 album. Starr has stated that he kept this album in a bank vault in London for over 35 years and McCartney says it originally belonged to John Lennon because, apparently, he shouted the loudest. Up to this time the lowest numbered UK first mono pressing album to come to market is No.0000005, which sold in 2008 for just under $30,000. This No.0000001 UK first mono pressing owned by a member of the Beatles is the lowest and most desirable copy that will ever become available.
As the record manufacturing plant certainly had every machine available simultaneously pressing copies of this album it is impossible to say with certainty which records were truly the very first off the press, but these discs were certainly among the very first. The album covers however were numbered in sequence, insuring that this No.0000001 sleeve is the very first finished cover. The top load sleeve is in near mint minus condition and would be near mint if not for the bumped upper right front gatefold corner, but it is overall very clean and fresh with very minor abrasions.
Both discs were pressed from the very first Masters as indicated by the -1 matrix numbers on all four sides. The records are contained in their original black inner sleeves and feature “Factory Sample Not For Sale” labels on the whole apple side of disc 1 and on the cut apple side of disc 2. All labels feature the “Sold in UK.” text but omit the “An EMI Recording” text found on later editions. Together with the four original UK portrait photos and UK lyric poster, both in mint condition.
Starting bid is $20,000, and the final sale estimate is set at $60,000. You can start the bidding here.