Two days after their momentous debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Fab Four boarded a train from New York for Washington, DC, for their first US concert at … a boxing ring. Forty-seven years after that first show, an enterprising photographer has made 50 silver gelatin prints from his negatives of the event at the Washington Coliseum, as well as a performance at the Baltimore Civic Center. And now they're up for auction.
According to the head of Christie's pop culture department, the black and white photographs are remarkable for their quality, and very few images exist from that first concert. The lucky photographer, Mike Mitchell was only 18 at the time, and laughs when he describes the scene at the indoor arena that night, complete with screaming fans and unrestricted access to the stage. No cordoned-off media pens, no tight security. Mitchell is offering his photos for sale at Christie's on July 20. The total pre-sale estimate is $100,000; the images will be sold individually.