The Rock and Roll Pop Art Auction
Lot #38: John Lennon Owned and Worn Iconic "Two Virgins" Talisman Necklace

This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 8/5/2008
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $400,000
Final Bid(Includes Buyers Premium): $528,000.00
Number of Bids: 2
Auction closed on: 8/5/2008

One of the most exciting highlights of our auction is John Lennon's talisman necklace; the very same necklace worn by Lennon in the infamous nude cover photograph for John & Yoko's "Two Virgins" album in 1968. Between May '67 and late '68, John was rarely seen without the talisman, as the instantly recognizable artifact is seen in many, many photos during the period. While candid snapshots taken outside EMI Studios in February '67 seem to be the earliest evidence of John wearing the necklace, the public had its first glimpse of the talisman from pictures appearing in newspapers worldwide taken at the "Sgt. Pepper" launch party on May 19th, John is again wearing the talisman as The Beatles perform "All You Need Is Love" during the historic June 25th live telecast of "Our World," the first worldwide satellite television transmission beamed to a potential viewing audience of 400 million in twenty-six countries. The talisman is again seen around Lennon's neck during the Beatles' visit to Rishikesh, India, in February '68. Lennon eventually gave the necklace to his friend, John Alexis Mardas, the head of the Beatles' short-lived Apple Electronics. Deemed "Magic Alex" by Lennon, Mardas has sporadically parted with a number of items related to his years as a Beatles insider; the talisman appearing in a London auction in 2005 after nearly forty years out of public view. The handmade, well-worn, 20" long beaded leather necklace with Indian swirl cones, blue glass rings, green and white flower-shaped buds, and metal eyelets is attached by a white and gold button at one end. LOA included from Christie's expert, Helen Hall. Estimate $500,000-$600,000.