Rare photos of the Beatles’ first concert in America, shot by a teenage photographer in 1964, are scheduled for auction in New York in July this year.
Reuters reports that the photos, shot by the then-18-year-old Mike Mitchell in Washington, chronicle the first concert of the Fab Four in the US, that was on February 11, 1964, at the Washington Coliseum. Mitchell shot photos of the band’s pre-concert press conference as well as of the concert performance as he was positioned at the stage there.
For 45 years, this collection of Black and White photos remained closed in a box with Mitchell, who continues to work as a photographer. Then, his friends encouraged him to share the photos and put them on sale. Now, after 47 years, Mitchell has developed 50 silver gelatin prints from his trove of exposures, which are deemed remarkable in quality in the context of technology at that time, as reported by The Associated Press, quoting Christie's pop culture consultant Simeon Lipman. In Lipman’s words, these are “intimate shots”.
Christie's pre-sale estimate of the sale of Mitchell’s prints is a hundred thousand dollars. However, Christie's director of iconic collections Cathy Elkies expects that bidding will go well over the estimate, which is somewhat carefully made given that Mitchell wasn’t an established photographer when he was shooting the pictures.
The photos will be placed for exhibition at the Christie's London galleries on June 11-12, 2011. After showing them at other venues, the photos will finally be auctioned at Christies’ in New York on July 20, 2011.