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Lennon books and art fetch $2.9m

Original manuscripts and drawings by the former Beatle have been auctioned by Sotheby's.

Music legend John Lennon in 1971 : Picture: AFP.

NEW YORK - Original manuscripts and drawings by former Beatle John Lennon, produced for two acclaimed books he wrote in the mid-1960s, sold for $2.9 million on Wednesday, more than double the pre-sale estimate, Sothebys auction house said.

All of the 89 lots in the sale, from Lennons 1964 book In His Own Write and 1965s A Spaniard in the Works, were snapped up by buyers.

The highlight of the sale was The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield, the manuscript for Lennons parody of Sherlock Holmes from A Spaniard in the Works which fetched $209,000.

The outstanding result, the first white glove sale of 2014 at Sothebys New York, shows that Lennons nonsense verse, puns, wicked humour and comic drawings continue to resonate 50 years after the publication of In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works, Gabriel Heaton, the deputy director of Sothebys books and manuscripts department, said in a statement.

A white glove sale is an auction in which every lot is sold.

Other top items in the auction, just over 50 years after the Beatles first appearance in America on the Ed Sullivan Show, included The Fat Budgie manuscript, which sold for $143,000, and an ink drawing of a guitar player that went for $137,000.

Heaton, who described the items as the most substantial collection of original artwork and manuscripts by Lennon, said all the lots in the sale were produced at the height of Beatlemania.

Lennon died in 1980, at the age of 40, after he was shot in New York.

The collection was sold by Lennons British publisher Tom Maschler, who persuaded him to write the books.

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