A pair of John Lennon’s signature glasses, which he gave to a hotel employee as a birthday present, have gone on sale for £15,000.
The Beatle stayed with his wife Yoko Ono at the St Regis Hotel in New York in 1971 where Fred Benton worked. They became friends and Lennon gave her his round Windsor glasses for her 21st birthday. Fred, a Beatles fan, kept them, treating them as a “sacred relic”, until his death in 2014.
The glasses then passed to his son Patrick Benton, who sold them to a collector two years later.
READ MORE:Paul McCartney started the Beatles in a ‘hopeless’ terraced house
Patrick wrote in a Provenance Letter: “One day Lennon asked my dad what his plan was for the weekend. Lennon asked how old my father was and was shocked by his answer. “You look older!” Lennon laughed. “Ten minutes later, Lennon went back to my dad and gave him this pair of glasses!
“He told him they were his own pair, smiled and said ‘Happy birthday, kid’. My dad was in shock! He mumbled ‘Thank you’. “Since that day, my dad hasn’t only tried the glasses once – he treated the spectacles like a sacred relic.”
Glasses are now going under the hammer with Omega Auctions, of Newton-le-Willows. Dan Hampson, specialist at Omega, said: “The round bezels are one of the most distinctive things about John Lennon. With things like that provenance, it’s absolutely essential, and in this case, it’s waterproof. “
Lennon and Yoko Ono stayed at the Saint Regis Hotel for six weeks in September and October 1971 after moving from their country home in Sunningdale, Berks. They then moved into a loft in New York. Lennon was shot outside his home by crazed fan Mark Chapman in 1980. The sale takes place on April 26.