Ringo Starr’s Drum Kit Auctioned for $2.2 million

Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drum set, played on 180 studio recordings and 200 live performances with the Beatles, was auctioned off this weekend for $2.2 million. The set was purchased by Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts. In early November, Irsay paid $2.1 million for one of Starr's drum heads, which was used during the Beatles historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, according to the IndyStar newspaper.

Ringo Starr's Ludwig drum set

Proceeds will benefit the Lotus Foundation, which was started by Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach. The Lotus Foundation funds, supports, participates in and promotes charitable projects aimed at advancing social welfare, including substance abuse, cerebral palsy, brain tumours, cancer, battered women and their children, homelessness and animals in need.

The final price for the kit exceeded the pre-auction estimate of $300,000 to $500,000, making it the most expensive drum set ever auctioned.

The gavel price on the drum kit was $1.75 million, and auction commissions and other fees upped the final sale price to $2.2 million.

Other items sold included: Starr's personal copy of the Beatles' "The White Album," serial number 0000001, which sold for $790,000, far exceeding the-the pre-auction estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.

A 1964 Rose-Morris Rickenbacker, model 1996, nick-named “The Beatle Backer,” which was owned by John Lennon and later given to Starr, sold for $910,000. The semi-hollow bodied fireglo finish, serial number DE519, was given to Lennon by Rose-Morris, the official UK importer of Rickenbacker, when his 1964 Rickenbacker 325 was damaged during a Christmas performance. The guitar can be seen in photographs taken in Lennon’s home music room in 1967; Lennon gave the guitar to Starr in ’68, according to Julien’s. Lennon thought the guitar would fit Starr well and wanted to encourage Starr to write more songs.

A 1962 Gretsch "Chet Atkins" Tennessean guitar, formerly owned by George Harrison and given to Starr by Harrison's widow, Olivia and their son, Dhani after Harrison's death in 2001, sold for $175,000.

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