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John Lennon Artworks, Writings Exceed Projected Auction Estimates

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One of John Lennon's drawings, from 1964, set to go up for auction at Sotheby's. (credit: Sotheby's)

One of John Lennon’s drawings, from 1964, set to go up for auction at Sotheby’s. (credit: Sotheby’s)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The whimsical drawings and manuscripts John Lennon produced for his two critically acclaimed books were skyrocketing past their pre-sale auction estimates Tuesday.

Sotheby’s is selling the 89-lot collection from Lennon’s “In His Own Write” and “A Spaniard in the Works,” in its “You Might Well Arsk” sale

“The Fat Budgie,” a beloved nonsensical poem with the title written on the margin, went for $143,000 on Wednesday. It had been estimated to bring up to $35,000.

A handwritten manuscript called “I Sat Belonely” went for $137,000. It was expected to fetch up to $35,000.

A corrected typescript titled “Neville Club” sold for $10,000, within its presale estimate.

Sotheby’s said the items comprise the largest private collection of Lennon’s work to come to market. The books’ British publisher, Tom Maschler, has owned the material for a half-century.

The auction comes in a high-profile year for Beatles nostalgia. Fifty years ago this past winter, in February 1964, the Beatles made their first live U.S. concert appearance.

Lennon was fatally shot outside The Dakota on Central Park West in 1980 by Mark David Chapman, who has been denied parole seven times.

Lennon would turn 74 on Oct. 9.

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