Rare LPs from John Peel’s private collection are headed to auction

Lots include an annotated pressing from John Lennon and Yoko Ono and a hand-written letter from Freddie Mercury

A private collection of John Peel’s LPs and memorabilia will be going out to auction next month.

Carefully selected by Peel’s family, the items up for auction include an annotated mono pressing of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Two Virgins’ LP, estimated at £15,000-20,000. A promotional album signed by The Rolling Stones for £6,000-8,000. A copy of Marc Bolan’s album ‘Hard On Love’ from £5,000-6,000. And a copy of ‘Queen II’ that comes with a letter hand-written to Peel by Freddie Mercury, £1,000-1,500.

Before Peel’s death in 2004, the legendary DJ was said to have 26,000 LPs, 40,000 seven-inch singles and an endless supply of CDs.

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Rare merchandise will also be auctioned off including a rare Joy Division ‘Unknown Pleasures’ poster valued between £3,000-4,000. A five-page letter from David Bowie that features a series of original sketches worth £3,000-4,000, and his ‘93 NME Award for Godlike Genius from £800-1,200.

In a statement shared with the announcement of the sale, the Ravenscroft family commented: “By virtue of the role he played in it, John/Dad was in a position to have access to many of the most celebrated people and events in the history of popular music. This is reflected in a wealth of souvenirs he collected throughout his life.

“He had not only a voracious appetite for vinyl, but a keen sense of what memorabilia, ephemera and correspondence might find an interested audience in decades to come (though it could be argued that this was achieved by a strategy of keeping almost everything that crossed his path).

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“In going through the accumulation of 40 years of pop music moments, we decided that some of the most interesting items might find a home, with fans of his programme or of the artists whose music he played. Bonhams have assisted us to carefully select what is being offered for sale, and we hope these items find the attention and appreciation that we’re sure John/Dad would feel they warranted.

“We had no desire to split up his beloved record collection but have included in the sale a selection of particularly rare or unique records that do not take away from the integrity of his archive.”

The auction will take place at Bonhams' Knightsbridge location on June 14.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter