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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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'Jim Dine: Poet Singing (The Flowering Sheets)' @ Getty Villa

Comments () | Archives (11)

What a stupid looking album cover THAT would have been. I doubt very much that any of The Beatles would have authorized it's use. Also, a Beatles album cover without the word BEATLES on it ?? Are you kidding me ????

I agree it's pretty bad,but who would have thought an album with a plain white cover would have been classic? so who knows,maybe people would have dug the "bathroom album"?? also-there are plenty of albums without the word "beatles" on it-"rubber soul","revolver","abbey road",and "let it be" don't have "beatles" on them!

While I agree that the artwork above would have made a pretty crappy album cover, the Beatles did actually release an album without the band name on the cover. It's called Abbey Road and it did quite well, actually.

Preliminary artwork or illustrations for a specific purpose, in this case an album cover, do not necessarily represent the completed design.

I agree with you though, Jeff. At least "The White Album" (their first release on the Apple lable) had the band's name!

It IS looking awful, but there ARE beatle-albums without BEATLES on it: Abbey Road, Sgt Pepper, Revolver, Rubber Soul

Worst. Beatles. Album. Cover. Ever.

What a crappy album cover this would have been. I don't believe that The Beatles would have approved of this. The butcher cover was a reaction to what Crapitol was putting out and this thing would have probably pushed them over the edge.

Uh, White album, Though I cant stand the Beatles, all they did was adolescent nursery rhymes, and this is ugly as hell, they did like to be "different". Even when stealing works from people like Ravi Shankar, they never even attempted to understand his music, just used it for "Mileau" and pissed him off. Unlike those who admired and wanted to learn, like dozens of jazz musicians including John Coltrane, far before the Beatless picked up musical instruments with sorry abilities.

This is just too boring, Dine does decent enough commercial work, better than many, but this is piss poor. Even Ed Ruscha could do better. Maybe.

art collegia delenda est

Thank God it never saw the light of day. I'd pay good money to burn it

Mr Frazell, You are very mistaken when you claim that the Beatles never took the time to learn/understand Ravi Shankars music. George spent many years of his life learning the sitar under Ravis guidance. George also featured Ravi on many tours in an attempt to open the western world to eastern music. Next time, please make sure to get your facts strait. If you “cant stand” the Beatles, I am sure the Stones have a place you can copy, and re- paste your post. Your comments are better suited for them! ; )

And Shankar hated them, they used him as a gimmick to get stoned by, and Harrison was one of the worst guitarists ever, ringo was definitely the worst drummer.

Coltrane's son is named after Shankar, Ravi Coltrane still playing to this day. The were in india years before the Beatless ever heard of him, it was jazz musicians who brough Indian music notice in the West, and truly respected and studied it.


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