Retired GP Dr Julian Dennis with the autograph book featuring The Beatles. Inset: His late wife Louisa and the front cover of the book.

Complete set of Beatles autographs with Paul McCartney’s plectrum in Lichfield auction

A SET of autographs signed by The Beatles including Paul McCartney’s broken plectrum are coming up for auction at Lichfield.

The book, which also bears a personalised inscription by legendary Beatles roadie Mal Evans, goes under the hammer with Richard Winterton Auctioneers at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, as Lot 103 in the Antiques & Home Sale on Monday, January 22, starting at 9.30am.

The autographs were signed for 15-year-old Louisa Walne of Hazelwood Road, Leicester, on October 10 1964 at De Montfort Hall, the group’s third time playing the venue.

As well as the signatures of all four Beatles, the book carries a personal message from Mal Evans “To Louisa, with love and best wishes Malcolm Evans (Beatles Road Manager)” and other 1960s stars including Motown singer Mary Wells, who was also on the bill for the October 10 show.

The page with George Harrison’s autograph was additionally signed by singer Tommy Quickly – another Brian Epstein artist in the line-up that night in Leicester – and a souvenir discarded matchstick is affixed beneath the signatures.

Julian Dennis Beatles autographs - Paul.
The page with Paul McCartney’s signature is adorned with the bassist’s broken plectrum.

The autograph book is being sold by Dr Julian Dennis, a retired GP from Sutton Coldfield, who has looked after it for the past half a century.

“Louisa and I married in 1973,” he said.

“She was the daughter of my mother’s best friend and I didn’t get to know her until after her encounter with The Beatles.”

Julian Dennis Beatles autographs - George.
George Harrison’s signature shares a page with an autograph by Tommy Quickly, another artist managed by Brian Epstein. A used matchstick has been stuck to the page but was it discarded by George or Tommy?

Julian and Louisa were both destined for careers in medicine when they fell in love.

Louisa specialised in children’s care while at nursing school in Birmingham and then went to London to be with Julian and became a staff nurse at Westminster Children’s Hospital.

She later became sister in charge of the children’s ward at St Stephen’s Hospital in Fulham.

Julian Dennis Beatles autographs - Louisa.
Louisa in her staff nurse’s uniform at Westminster Hospital, London, 1973.

But she tragically died at the age of 24 in January 1974 following a blood clot, just six months after marrying Julian the previous June.

The hospital set up an award in Louisa’s name as a tribute following her death.

Following the traumatic bereavement, Julian battled to manage his grief and get his medical studies back on track, later graduating as a doctor from Cambridge University.

Julian Dennis Beatles autographs - John.
John Lennon’s autograph in the book.

“The autograph book has been with me for a long time and for many years I didn’t want to sell it because it was Louisa’s,” said Julian.

“But it has been 50 years and I think the time has come to pass this fascinating keepsake on.

“I was – and still am – a massive Beatles fan and their music has accompanied me throughout my life.

“It’s impossible to name a favourite song but Paul was my favourite Beatle and to have a piece of a plectrum he used is undeniably special.”

Julian Dennis Beatles autographs - Ringo.
“To Louisa love from Ringo Starr xxx”

Now married to Frances, Julian fully retired in 2014 after 35 years as a medical practitioner, mainly in Nottinghamshire.

Other autographs in the book include three of Gerry Marsden, with one dated March 1 1964 on a page next to another by Tommy Quickly with the same date, the day both Tommy and Gerry and the Pacemakers played De Montfort Hall.

Cliff Richard played the venue on March 23 1963 and his signature from that date also features in the book with that of Hank Marvin, who would have been with the Shadows as well as backing Cliff on stage.

Julian Dennis Beatles autographs - Mal Evans.
The book also features a personalised message from legendary Beatles roadie Mal Evans.

Robert French, valuer at Richard Winterton Auctioneers, said: “With last year’s poignant ‘final single’ Now And Then plus the enduring popularity of Peter Jackson’s Get Back, The Beatles remain an enduring presence in all our lives.

“There remains huge affection for the group worldwide and we expect considerable interest in the auction, especially due to the wonderful provenance of the book.

“The other autographs from Cliff Richard, Gerry Marsden and Tommy Quickly tie in with the dates they played De Montfort Hall and show the venue was clearly one Louisa liked to go to.

Julian Dennis Beatles autographs - book
The autograph book contains the signatures of all four Beatles, their road manager Mal Evans and signatures of other 1960s stars including Cliff Richard, Gerry Marsden, Tommy Quickly and Motown singer Mary Wells.

“It’s also fascinating to see the used matchstick stuck to the page signed by George Harrison and Tommy Quickly – did the pair share the match or was it George’s alone but pasted at the bottom of the page so as not to obscure Tommy’s name?

“October 10 1964 must have been a special day indeed for Louisa and we can only imagine how thrilled she was to get autographs of all four Beatles, their trusted roadie Mal Evans and American star Mary Wells – plus the bonus souvenir of McCartney’s broken plectrum to boot!”

Retired GP Dr Julian Dennis with the autograph book.
The autograph book is being sold by Dr Julian Dennis, a retired GP from Sutton Coldfield, who has looked after it for the past half a century.

The autograph book carries an auction estimate of £4,500 to £5,500.

The catalogue can be viewed online via our Auction Dates page a week before the sale and viewing in person at The Lichfield Auction Centre takes place between 10am and 4pm on Friday, January 19 2024.

Appointments for free valuations of all types of items can be booked on 01543 251081 or by emailing office@richardwinterton.co.uk.

Free home visits for large collections and house clearance quotations are also available.

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