A rudimentary doodle drawn by Paul McCartney when he was a teenager has fetched £3,764 at auction.
The rare sketches, done by the Beatle during the late 1950s when he was studying at the Liverpool Institute High School For Boys, was sold by PFC Auctions last night amid a flurry of last minute bids.
The drawings, multiple faces showing different expressions on a single sheet of paper, are rendered in pencil.
The piece of work (we call it that now; then no doubt McCartney meant it as no more than idle doodles) measures 12.5in by 8in and is in good condition, with the exception of a small tear in the bottom right hand corner.
For more than two decades McCartney has been a dedicated artist and his paintings have been met with critical acclaim.
The Beatles and Wings star has said he finds art as much of an outlet for his creativity as music.
‘What I find is that I do it when I am inspired, and that’s how I can combine it with music,’ he says. ‘Some days the inspiration is a musical one and other days it has got to be painting’.
But despite showing early interest and, indeed, an early talent for art – he won a prize at the age of 14 for a drawing he did of St Aidan’s church on the Speke housing estate where he lived - McCartney was long reticent about his talents, saying he felt inhibited by his lack of formal training.
‘I felt that only people who had gone to art college were allowed to paint,’ he admitted – although it has to be said a lack of formal music training never held him back from performing well in that arena either.
Formal training or not, his natural talent is undeniable. An ink drawing of his provided inspiration for the artwork for the Sgt Pepper album cover – which won wide acclaim, and was deemed by Beatles biographer Bill Harry to be the most recognisable album cover in the world.
In 1999 McCartney’s work was displayed in a solo exhibition, Paul McCartney: Paintings, in Germany in 1999, curated by Wolfgang Suttner and has hung in various galleries in the UK too.
A coffee table book of his works with the same name was released the following year and his signed lithographs now sell for around £5,000 each.
Not bad for an untrained artist.