A pair of round, gold-rimmed sunglasses worn by Beatle John Lennon that set a fashion trend have come up for auction at a British Web site with bidding said to be as high as $1.5 million.
The glasses, put up for bid late last week at Web site 991.com, belonged to Japanese television producer Junishi Yore who was a translator for the Beatles in 1966.
Yore’s account of the glasses’ authenticity is on the Web site.
Several media reports said the bidding was frenzied, with prices rising into the millions, but 991.com sales marketing director John Warner declined to confirm a figure saying the auction was secret. Bidding is set to end on July 31.
“I think it’s fair to say this has created a bit of a stir,” said Warner about the auction of Lennon’s glasses.
The glasses come with Yore’s handwritten note saying he got them when the Beatle was on tour in Japan. Lennon befriended Yore and before the two parted, they exchanged gifts. Lennon gave Yore his glasses, and Yore gave Lennon copper cups.
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Lennon was often photographed in his round, wire-rimmed glasses, and the image became iconic for young men and women of his generation who adopted the same look.
When Lennon was murdered outside his New York apartment in 1980, Yore pushed the lenses from the sunglasses in accordance with a Japanese tradition that calls for the glass to be displaced so that the soul can see in the afterlife.