Unique John Lennon 'nonsense alphabet' for sale In 1969, Lennon wrote his own 'abecedarium', the 26 letters each with its own nonsense epithet, first seen in his erotic Bag One lithographs. Now, the unique printer's proof has emerged for auction.
News-Antique.com - Feb 24,2014 - Printer's proof in North Wales auction is unique first example of ex-Beatle's abecedarium
Expected to sell for £5,000-6,000 in February 26 sale
A is for Parrot, B is for glasses, C is for plastic, D is for Doris ... at least according to John Lennon. The visionary, but dyslexic, ex-Beatle's fascination with alphabet is well-documented.
In 1969, Lennon wrote his own abecedarium, the 26 letters each with its own nonsense epithet, which later became the introduction to a controversial set of 14 erotic lithographs of him and Yoko Ono called "Bag One".
Now, the unique printer's proof of the alphabet, printed in Lennon's handwriting using a special lithographic process, has emerged for sale.
It is expected to realise £5,000-6,000 in an auction at Rogers Jones Co, a leading North Wales auctioneer in Colwyn Bay. The sale is on Wednesday February 26.
The print, which measures an imposing 31 by 23 inches, has been sent for sale by Mr Michael Poynter Adams (69), a retired director of Curwen Chilford Prints Ltd, the company which printed the Bag One lithographs. Mr Adams, whose company produced numerous prints for Wales's best loved artist, the late Sir Kyffin Williams, now lives in Anglesey.
He explained: "I first met John Lennon and the Beatles before they were famous in 1961. I used to buy my records - rare imports mainly from France - from NEMS in Liverpool and Brian Epstein took my orders. John and the other Beatles were often in the shop. Although John was older than I, we shared an interest in rock'n'roll - there was the same synergy between us.
"By sheer coincidence later in life I was working at Curwen's where the Bag One lithographs were printed and I was told that when John and Yoko arrived in their flamboyant Rolls-Royce to see the first prints being produced, there were girls banging on the studio windows outside trying to attract his attention.
"The printer's proof of the abecedarium was the precursor for the whole series, the start if it all and the rarest to survive from the printing process. Because he knew of my friendship with Lennon, when he retired and was clearing out his files of artwork, the master printer responsible for printing the lithographs gave me the proof and I've cherished it ever since. It would have been agreed by Lennon before the printing process could proceed and is the only one known to exist. In the time I have owned it the proof has been exhibited widely including at the National Library of Wales and Liverpool Hope University."
Mr Adams added: "I am selling it with great reluctance but it is not on display at home and we are moving to a smaller house, so it has to go. It's a significant piece of music history and I hope it goes to a good home."
The special printing process was introduced to Lennon by Anthony Fawcett, who subsequently became his and Yoko Ono's assistant. In his biography of