John Lennon: Broken Memorabilia Sells for $183,500

Throughout his career, John Lennon created many of the most lasting tableaus of 20th century popular culture. From his mop top haircut to the colorful outfit he wore on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, few of John‘s looks didn’t become famous. According to MSN, here’s the piece of John memorabilia that sold for $183,500/£137,500 at auction.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono | Susan Wood/Getty Images

The most iconic glasses ever

John was well-known for wearing round glasses. It’s hard to think of him without thinking of his spectacles. Metro reports he first donned them for his appearance in Richard Lester’s comedy How I Won the War. Since then, they became a trademark part of his look. Therefore, it’s no surprise a pair of his round sunglasses sold for such a considerable amount of money. 

MSN says the sunglasses put up for sale were owned by Alan Herring, a chauffeur who worked for Ringo Starr and George Harrison. In a statement, Herring said “In the summer of 1968 I had picked John up with Ringo and George in Ringo’s Mercedes and driven the boys into the office.”

Herring continued “When John got out of the car I noticed that he’d left these sunglasses on the back seat and one lens and one arm had become disconnected. I asked John if he’d like me to get them fixed for him. He told me not to worry they were just for the look!” Herring never had the glasses fixed.

Herring explained his reason to sell the glasses, saying “For my family’s sake it makes sense for me to say goodbye to my collection now while I can still tell all the stories behind everything.” The green-tinted glasses were sold to an anonymous bidder.

While John’s glasses are emblematic, Paul McCartney had his own understanding of them. According to Rolling Stone, he said “He was always a very warm guy, John. His bluff was all on the surface. He used to take his glasses down, those granny glasses, and say, ‘It’s only me.’ They were like a wall you know? A shield. Those are the moments I treasure.”

The sale of John Lennon’s hair

It might be a little strange to think someone paid so much money for broken sunglasses. However, this is far from the strangest piece of Beatles memorabilia to sell for a considerable amount. The BBC reported a lock of John’s hair sold for $35,000/ £24,298 in 2016.

John Lennon in 1966 | Express/Express/Getty Images

Garry Shrum of Heritage Auctions said “This is the largest lock of John Lennon’s hair ever offered at auction and this world record price is a lasting testament to the world’s more than 50-year love affair and fascination with Lennon and the Beatles.” The momento was purchased by Paul Fraser, a collector from the United Kingdom. The lock was saved for posterity by a German hairdresser who cut John’s hair for his appearance in How I Won the War.

It might seem strange that someone would want to buy broken sunglasses or a lock of hair. However, not every pair of broken sunglasses or lock of hair was once owned by a Beatle. The fact that these mementos went for such high prices speaks to the Beatles’ incredible popularity.