Published Nov 28, 2008A 97-year-old document allegedly bearing the signature of the woman who inspired the Beatles song "Eleanor Rigby sold Thursday (November 26) for a hefty £115,000 (about $220,000 Cdn).
The piece of supposed Beatles memorabilia is a salary register from Liverpool City Hospital featuring the signature of an "E. Rigby, a scullery maid who had signed for her monthly wage of £14. For many a Beatlemaniac, this manuscript has since become "proof of whom the real Eleanor Rigby was and solved a decades-long mystery.
The seller, Annie Mawson, said the document, dated 1911, was sent to her in 1990 by former Beatle Paul McCartney when she wrote to him on behalf of her charity, the Sunbeams Music Trust.
"I wrote... to Paul and asked him for half a million pounds. But by the end of the letter I just said, 'Look, I know you're a very caring person and I feel it's a privilege to share my story with you,'" she told Reuters before the sale. "Nine months later, in June 1990, this amazing envelope arrived in the post. It was nine months after I'd written to him, which was part of the mystery because you always think it ended up in the waste paper basket."
Mawson said she did not immediately realize the importance, and value, of the register until she read the list of names and spotted E. Rigby.
McCartney himself has denied that the document "solved the puzzle, sticking to his story that the Eleanor Rigby character was entirely fictitious.
At the London auction, Mawson was initially hoping the manuscript would fetch at least £500,000.
The Beatles "Eleanor Rigby