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Item 584 - Beatles: Iain Macmillan Catalog 541 (Dec 2018)

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Minimum Bid: $2,500.00
Sold Price: $14,826.18 (includes buyer's premium)


Extremely rare and highly appealing limited edition set of six oversized color 'outtake' photographic prints for the cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road, originally taken by Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan. Each is signed and numbered in the lower border in white ink, “Iain Macmillan, 4/5.” Includes five unused images of the Beatles walking on the Abbey Road zebra crossing, plus one of Macmillan's street sign image for the Abbey Road back cover, which famously shows a girl in a blue dress accidentally walking through the shot. In these photographic prints, created in an edition of five by Macmillan sometime in the late 1980s/early 1990s, the entire uncropped Abbey Road image area plus the red film frame numbers from the negatives themselves are visible. Each image measures 10.75 x 11, with the borders trimmed to slightly different sizes. All are on Kodak photo paper. Research indicates that this small edition was the only one released with prints made from the full-frame uncropped negatives including the negative numbers.

Although outwardly similar, with the consistent lineup of Lennon leading and Harrison trailing, the images of the band, accordingly numbered, differ in various subtle ways, including: road traffic, stepping pattern, frame symmetry, and distance between members; additionally, McCartney switches between wearing sandals and walking barefoot. In overall fine condition, with archival mounting tape remnants to the top edge of the reverse of each photograph.

The photos, and their overall sizes, are as follows:
1. Facing right, McCartney in sandals, 11.75 x 14.
2. Facing left, McCartney in sandals, 12 x 13.75.
3. Facing right, McCartney barefoot, 12 x 13.75.
4. Facing left, McCartney barefoot, 12 x 13.25.
5. Facing left, McCartney barefoot, 12 x 13.25.
6. Back cover, unaltered version without “Beatles” or song title text, 12 x 13.25.

On the morning of August 8, 1969, Macmillan, a friend of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, met the Beatles outside of EMI Studios to photograph the Abbey Road album cover. Following instructions sketched by Paul McCartney, Macmillan climbed a stepladder placed in the middle of the street and, with a hired police officer halting traffic, snapped six photos of the Fab Four, with the fifth photo taken—the band's legs in ideal formation and a shoeless McCartney holding a cigarette—ultimately used for the cover. A rare and remarkable collection representing the creation of Abbey Road's iconic cover art.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.


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