A pair of John Lennon’s sunglasses sold for about $183,000 (£137,500) after being put up for auction by the late musician’s former chauffeur Alan Herring.
The lot was sold at Sotheby’s London and was expected to fetch between just £6,000 to £8,000 (about $8000 to $10,600). Per the Sotheby’s listing, the non-prescription specs were likely made by Oliver Goldsmith and they were given to Lennon in 1966 so he could prepare for his turn in Richard Lester’s film, How I Won the War.
In a statement, Herring explained how he came to own the glasses, saying, “In the summer of 1968 I had picked John up with Ringo and George in Ringo’s Mercedes and driven the boys into the office. When John got out of the car I noticed that he’d left these sunglasses on the back seat and one lens and one arm had become disconnected. I asked John if he’d like me to get them fixed for him. He told me not to worry they were just for the look! He said he’d send out for some that fit. I never did get them mended I just kept them as they were as John had left them.”
The damage to circular, green-tinted, gold wire-framed sunglasses is limited to a missing screw and some small scratches on the lens.
It’s unclear who won the auction for Lennon’s glasses, although Herring told the BBC of his decision to sell them, “For my family’s sake, it makes sense for me to say goodbye to my collection now while I can still tell all the stories behind everything.”