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While loose-fitting hippy fatigues and ethnic apparel such as Afghan coats and kaftans may have suited the bespectacled radical when out on the streets during the late 1960s, his earlier career was marked by a more sober and formal choice of clothing, such as the navy blue cashmere coat by Acquascutum, right, which was consigned for sale at Bristol Auction Rooms on July 27.

The fact that the coat could not be precisely associated with any important event during Lennon’s career did not help its chances on the rostrum. Recently, the white suit worn by John Travolta in the film Saturday Night Fever was sold at auction in New York for £145,500 and the auctioneers had been expecting a six-figure sum for this coat (the modern-day equivalent of which can be found at Acquascutum on Regent Street priced at £1095).

However, there was no doubt that the coat had been worn by Lennon; the words ‘John Winston Lennon’ and ‘his coat’ along with a doodled pair of spectacles, appear on the lining at the nape of the neck.

Moreover, the coat was accompanied to auction by a 30-year-old letter of authenticity from a Liverpudlian seamstress who worked for the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein. The letter related how the coat was given to her by Lennon for repair after he accidentally ripped one pocket, but as she could not repair it in time for the impatient and generous popstar, he purchased another coat and let her keep the damaged one.

Consigned by a vendor acting on behalf of the seamstress’s relatives, the coat attracted interest from private collectors before selling to an American dealer resident in the UK at £3600 (plus 10 per cent premium).