Sex Pistols singles fetch £20k at John Peel archive sale

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John Peel
Image caption,
John Peel was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting from 1967 until his death in 2004

Rare items from the late veteran BBC DJ John Peel's home collection - including a signed record from John Lennon and Yoko Ono - have gone under the hammer.

John Peel, who lived in Suffolk, was BBC Radio 1's longest-serving original DJ until he died in 2004 aged 65.

His widow Sheila Ravenscroft said "people ought to be able to look at, own and enjoy" the items.

The signed Lennon/Ono album went for £15,300, while the highest bid was for Sex Pistols test pressings at £20,400.

Peel's radio shows helped many music careers, including those of David Bowie, T-Rex, Queen, The Fall, The Smiths and The White Stripes.

The 200 lots sold for a total of £465,784 at the auction held by Bonhams in Knightsbridge, London.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
The Sex Pistols signed their short-lived recording contract with A&M Records outside Buckingham Palace in the Queen's Silver Jubilee year of 1977

The lot that fetched the highest amount was two test pressings of the Sex Pistols' debut single Anarchy In The UK/I Wanna Be Me from 1976 that had been estimated to sell for up to £8,000 but fetched more than double that.

Image source, Bonhams
Image caption,
Sheila Ravenscroft said "people ought to be able to look at, own and enjoy" the items that went under the hammer
Image source, Bonhams
Image caption,
The highest selling item was test pressings of the Sex Pistols' single Anarchy In The UK/I Wanna Be Me from 1976 that went for £20,400

Peel's real name was John Ravenscroft and he was born in Heswall, Cheshire and went to Shrewsbury School as a boarder.

He moved to a village near Stowmarket in the 1970s, and The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts that opened in the town in 2010 and is due to be expanded.

Ms Ravenscroft said the family had thought about holding the auction for a number of years and thought it was a "good thing to do".

"It's 18 years since John died and the house is still full of all of his things that he collected, that he hoarded, and the house shouldn't be a museum, things shouldn't be packed away in boxes, they are interesting items and valuable items that people ought to be able to look at, own and enjoy," she said.

Image source, Leigh Milner/BBC
Image caption,
The auction, hosted by Bonhams, fetched £465,784 in total
Image source, Bonhams
Image caption,
A mono pressing of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1968 LP Two Virgins sold for £15,300

Other high-selling items included an original demo cassette from The Smiths with a letter from the band, dated 4 February 1983, that had been expected to sell for between £500 and £700, but fetched £17,850.

A Queen II LP that came with a letter from Freddie Mercury sold for £16,575.

The mono pressing of Lennon and Ono's 1968 LP Two Virgins, 1968, which famously had them pictured naked on the cover, went for £15,300.

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