14 March 2024

Pattie Boyd on auctioning love letters and ‘sharing’ George Harrison with public

14 March 2024

Former fashion model Pattie Boyd has described her photographs and love letters up for auction as the “best of what I have”.

The Pattie Boyd Collection includes letters from the time she was involved in a love triangle with former husbands Eric Clapton and George Harrison.

The 79-year-old, who was a renowned photographer and model in the 1960s, said she realised during her marriage to Beatles star Harrison that she had “to share everything, including George, with the public”.

Discussing her decision to put up her letters, and other items, for sale, Boyd told the PA news agency: “I’m sure I would not like these to go on sale while I’m on my deathbed.

“I think the time is right. I’ve lived with them for 40, 50 years or more and it’s time to move on to let other people share my treasures.”

She added: “These are items that I absolutely love, and I think are the best of what I have.

“I think the items here are lovely and they all sort of represent some part of my life.”

The collection includes a handwritten letter from 1970 in which Clapton asks Boyd to clarify any romantic feelings, and a handwritten love note from Harrison from the 1960s.

Boyd met Harrison on the set of the 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night and was married to him for more than a decade before she wed Clapton in 1979.

Discussing her relationship with Harrison, she said: “Until I was into my third year of marriage with George Harrison, I thought I was a private person.

“And then I had to realise that I’m not, I’ve got to share everything, including George, with the public as it were and so I’ve never been allowed to be private.”

Reflecting on who might buy the items up for sale, she said: “I haven’t a clue who would be interested in owning this or that but I hope that whoever does, really loves them.

“There is a fantastic guitarist called Derek Trucks, who I saw on stage with Eric at the Albert Hall and I understand that he really wants the painting of Layla.

“But you know, unfortunately, like everybody else, you know, he has to put in his bid.”

Boyd said she has not looked at the estimated prices of the items up for sale as they hold sentimental value for her.

“I have to confess to being slightly sloppy and not having a look at the value,” she said.

“I don’t really want to know because they are the items that I’ve known for years and years and years, and for me, to try and look at the values, it’s sort of weird.”

“Looking at some of these items takes me back. So, you know, from that point of view, it’s very nice,” she added.

Adrian Hume-Sayer, head of sale at Christie’s auction house said the collection is “unique” as it includes many personal items relating to the “swinging 60s”.

He told PA: “I would say it is pretty unique. I mean, collection sales do come up from time to time but when it’s something that’s personal it is always unique by nature.

“And what’s so special about this, is that it just relates to such an important moment in time of music history.

“The swinging 60s, two of the greatest musical artists of all time, some of the greatest love songs of all time, so all of those things really come together to make it unique.”

The sale is led by the original artwork chosen by Clapton for the cover of Derek And The Dominos’ 1970 album Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs, estimated to fetch between £40,000 and £60,000.

Clapton famously wrote the 1970 track Layla about Boyd, as well as his 1977 hit Wonderful Tonight.

Among the other items being sold are some jewellery and watches, alongside handwritten lyrics for unreleased Clapton song Sweet Eloraine and an original design doodle for an Apple Records LP label drawn by Harrison.

The full sale from The Pattie Boyd Collection will be on public view at Christie’s headquarters in London from March 15 to 21 before the auction closes on March 22.

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