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Unused Beatles album artwork by Jim Dine up for sale

November 11, 2009 |  4:29 pm

Beatles The graphite and watercolor artwork that you see on the left was created in 1968 and was destined for eternal rock 'n' roll fame. Hollywood's Capitol Records commissioned Pop artist Jim Dine to create a series of illustrations for a forthcoming Beatles album. But the project fell apart after the band decided to leave Capitol in order to form the Apple Records label.

The unused art ended up in the private collection of former Capitol Records President Sal Iannucci and his wife Aileen. Later this month, it will hit the auction block at Bonhams & Butterfields in Los Angeles where it is expected to fetch between $25,000 to $35,000.

The artwork consists of five individual pieces -- four depicting individual toothbrushes labeled for each member of the band plus a fifth showing all four toothbrushes together. Each item is signed and dated 'Jim Dine 1968' in the lower left corner, according to the auction house.

An acclaimed Pop artist, Dine used graphite and watercolor paints to create the works on vellum. Each piece stands approximately 17 inches by 14 inches.

"It's a lovely representation of how art and music can go together," said Sharon Goodman Squires, a specialist at Bonhams.

"The works have really wonderful signature imagery by Dine."

She said she doesn't know about the timing of the sale. "Like many people these days, the owners may be downsizing, but that's just speculation," she said.

The Dine works are part of Bonhams' fall auction of Modern, Contemporary and Latin American Art. The auction is scheduled to take place Nov. 17 in L.A. with a simulcast to the firm's San Francisco gallery.

The auction will consist of more than 200 lots, including works by Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Diego Rivera, Alexander Calder and more.

-- David Ng

Credit: Courtesy of Bonhams & Butterfields

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