Ringo Starr Memorabilia: The Ten Most Valuable Items
www.justcollecting.com Ringo Starr Memorabilia: The Ten Most Valuable Items Posted in Music Memorabilia December 7 2015
Here are the ten most valuable pieces of music memorabilia from the career of former Beatle Ringo Starr. The vast majority of items were sold by Starr himself, during a landmark auction at Julien's in December 2015 which realized almost $10 million.
Richard Starkey became Ringo Starr in 1959, when he joined former skiffle-turned-rock-and-roll band Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. His new stage name was partially inspired by his habit of constantly wearing rings wherever he went, including this 10k yellow gold onyx ring dated circa 1920.
It was still on his finger when he joined The Beatles in 1962, and remained there for years, throughout performances, recording sessions, press conferences and his everyday life. According to Starr he wore this ring during every live show he ever played with the Beatles, and it can be seen in countless photographs from the period. It sold at Julien's in December 2015 for $100,000.
Another of the rings that made Ringo 'Ringo' was this synthetic colour-change sapphire pinky ring, also dating from his pre-Beatles music career. Ringo also wore this ring for ever live performance he ever gave with the Fab Four, and it can even be seen on-screen in their movie debut 'A Hard Day's Night'.
Described as a "talismanic Rock n' Roll relic", the pinky ring sold at Julien's in 2015 for $106,250. The winning bidder was Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts and one of the world's foremost collectors of Beatles memorabilia.
'Hello, Goodbye' video drum kit
Ringo had this Ludwig silver sparkle drum kit custom-made in October 1967, and it appeared in the Paul McCartney-directed video for Hello, Goodbye. The video was produced specially for The Ed Sullivan Show, and show during the episode in which CBS-Studio 50 was renamed The Ed Sullivan Theatre in the presenter's honour.
Starr can be seen playing three kits during the video, including a 'midget' Star Micro Bop set which he allegedly gave to his son Zak as his first childhood drum kit.
In contrast the Ludwig silver sparkle set was oversized, and Starr later recalled: "It was giant! I ordered it with these big sizes to see how it would sound in the studio. But when we got it, I couldn't play it: I couldn't get my legs around the snare! We used some of the drums later for overdubs on a few songs."
This unique kit sold at Julien's in December 2015 for $115,200.
Sgt Pepper panel from John Lennon &
Ringo Starr's gypsy caravan
In 1967 John Lennon purchased a gypsy caravan as a gift for son Julian's fourth birthday, and hired a group of artists known as 'The Fool' to give it a psychedelic 'Sgt Pepper' paint job (just as they did to his Rolls Royce a few months later).
Having used it for family holidays around Europe, the horse-drawn caravan was retired to Lennon's garden at Tittenhurst Park and remained there when he moved to New York in 1971. It was inherited by the country house's new owner, Ringo Starr, who had it fully restored in 1983 following Lennon's tragic death. However, when Starr subsequently moved in the late 1980s the caravan stayed where it was, and slowly rotted away until being rediscovered in 2013 by the new owner of the house, who plans to restore it once again.
One part of the caravan which left with Ringo when he moved was the wooden back panel, featuring the hand-painted iconic 'Sgt Pepper'drum logo. This original panel, owned by two of the Fab Four, sold at Julien's in December 2015 for $125,000.
Gretsch guitar gifted to Ringo by George
Following George Harrison's death in 2001, his friends and family organized a tribute concert for him in 2002 at the Royal Albert Hall. The Concert for George featured Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, alongside an all-star band featuring Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Jools Holland, Gary Brooker and many others, performing Harrison's songs from throughout his career.
Following the concert on November 29, Harrison's widow Olivia and son Dhani sent Ringo a Christmas gift to thank him for his performance – this 1962 Chet Atkins Gretsch Tennessean electric guitar. Formerly owned by Harrison, the guitar was accompanied by a card which read "Dear / Richy / Happy Christmas / & Love you loads / 2002 from Oli & Dhani / x".
The guitar was sold at Julien's in December 2015 for $179,200.
Patek Philippe wristwatch
This 18k yellow gold wristwatch was made by Patek Philippe, the Swiss manufacturer responsible for making the world's finest timepieces. The highly rare Ref. 3448 watch featured a perpetual calendar and moon phases amongst its complications, and was one of just 586 examples ever made.
Acquired new by Ringo in 1971, the watch sold at Julien's in December 2015 for $179,200.
1964 Facel Vega II Coupé
Ringo first bought this car in November 1965, having just completed his starring role in the band's second feature film Help! With the band riding high on both sides of the Atlantic, Ringo decided to treat himself to a sports car and chose this 1964 Facel Vega II Coupé.
He drove it happily for three years, but with the birth of his second son Jason in August 1967 it seemed Ringo realized he might need a more practical car. In an interview with the Evening Standard in March 1968, Ringo stated: "I like the security of marriage and the family. In fact, I'm thinking of selling my Facel Vega and getting an ordinary family saloon, something like a Mercedes."
Having passed through several collections over the years, the rare Facel Vega II Coupé eventually sold at Bonhams in 2013 for $510,960.
The White Album No.0000001
The first The Beatles' White Album rolled out of the pressing plant in November 1968, with each of the album sleeves featuring its own unique edition number. Those numbered '0000001' to '0000004' were unsurprisingly snapped up by the band themselves.
Although it was believed John Lennon had snagged the first copy for himself, the record had in fact been given to Ringo and it spent more than 35 years locked away in his London bank vault before being auction at Julien's in December 2015.
The earliest copy of the record previously sold was '0000005', which fetched almost $30,000 on eBay in 2008. Copy '0000001' was estimated to sell for $40,000-$60,000, but achieved an incredible final price of $790,000 – making it the world's most expensive record ever sold, and more than doubling the previous record of $300,000 set by Elvis Presley's first acetate recording.
Rickenbacker guitar gifted to Ringo by
This 1964 Rose-Morris Rickenbacker guitar originally belonged to John Lennon, who acquired it in December 1964 as a replacement for his damaged Rickenbacker 325. He played it during the band's series of Christmas shows that year, and it remained in his personal collection until 1968.
Whilst The Beatles were in the studio recording The White Album in 1968, tensions rose and arguments led to Ringo quitting the band (for two weeks at least). He returned back from a holiday with his family to find his drum kit covered in flowers, and presented the band with a new song he'd written, 'Octopus's Garden'.
John Lennon then gave this guitar to Ringo, as both a further peacemaking gift and an encouragement to write more songs of his own. Starr kept the guitar in his personal collection for almost five decades, before selling it at Julien's in December 2015 for $910,000 (the second major lot in the sale purchased by renowned collector Jim Irsay).
#1 Ludwig Drum Kit
Starr acquired this Lugwig Oyster Black Pearl 3-piece drum kit in May 1963, as a replacement for his well-worn Mahogany Duroplastic 4-piece Premier kit. Having been chosen by Starr, the kit was then purchased from Drum City Ltd. in London by Brian Epstein, who also ordered that it should include the band's name on the bass drum.
According to legend, store owner Ivor Arbiter quickly sketched the band's name with an emphasis on the "beat". He then paid local sign painter Eddie Stokes to hand-paint the drum, and pair unknowingly created the most famous band logo in music history.
Starr received the kit, complete with the 'Drop T' logo, and used it for more than 200 live performances and over 180 studio recordings as The Beatles went from local heroes to international superstars.
It was finally retired in February 1964, on the eve of The Beatles' landmark first American tour. The band travelled light during this 'British Invasion', and purchased a new drum kit when they arrived in the U.S for use during live shows and their appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Ringo bought another new kit when they returned to the U.K, and his original Ludwig kit remained hidden away in storage for decades before being restored in 2013. It eventually sold at Julien's in December 2015 for $2,110,000, setting a record price for Ringo Starr memorabilia and making it the world's most valuable drum kit.
It was the third item in the auction purchased by Jim Irsay, who claims to have spent four million dollars and 45 years putting a set of Beatles instruments back together.