A John Lennon handwritten letter with a nude drawing of him and Yoko

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Lot 2291
A John Lennon handwritten letter with a nude drawing of him and Yoko

Sold for US$ 25,000 inc. premium
A John Lennon handwritten letter with a nude drawing of him and Yoko
Apple, England, dated 5th Dec 68, one page. Lennon writes to Ralph Ginzburg, publisher of Avant Garde magazine, apologizing for accidentally giving an exclusive of the infamous Two Virgins album cover to Rolling Stone rather than Ginzburg's magazine. "I gave it to them because they offered to print it— and I wasn't sure it would ever been shown—never mind the record itself.—I hope you won't attack me for it—it was a genuine mistake." Lennon then gives Ginzburg his address, tell him to let him and Yoko know if there is anything they can do to make amends, and adding "the phone and address are meant to be a secret." Lennon also sent Ginzburg a nude drawing of him and Yoko, modeled on the album cover, inscribed "To Allen, with love", and signed and dated, "John Lennon '68."

The cover of Two Virgins prompted public outrage, leading distributors to sell the album in a brown paper wrapper. Lennon came to the opinion that the reaction was due to his and Yoko's appearance rather than their nudity, saying that they looked like "two slightly overweight ex-junkies" (Skywriting by Word of Mouth, 1968). The recipient of the letter, Ralph Ginzburg, was an important figure in 1960s obscenity battles. Arrested for sending his Eros magazine through the mail, he lost a Supreme Court case over the charge, and eventually served eight months in Federal prison in 1972.

Lennon mistakenly addressed this letter to the poet Allen Ginsberg rather than Ralph Ginzburg, and this lot includes his original transmittal envelope, a handwritten letter from Allen Ginsberg to Ralph Ginzburg explaining the mixup, and anda two page typed carbon of Ginzburg's response to Lennon.
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A John Lennon handwritten letter with a nude drawing of him and Yoko
A John Lennon handwritten letter with a nude drawing of him and Yoko
A John Lennon handwritten letter with a nude drawing of him and Yoko
A John Lennon handwritten letter with a nude drawing of him and Yoko
A John Lennon handwritten letter with a nude drawing of him and Yoko
A John Lennon handwritten letter with a nude drawing of him and Yoko
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