'Holy Grail' Beatles record sold to British collector

The record sold for £77,500 ($110,000) and is considered as a "Holy Grail" for many music collectors (AFP Photo/Paul Ellis)
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London (AFP) - The demo vinyl record that persuaded late music producer George Martin to sign up The Beatles -- a "unique" piece of music history -- was sold on Tuesday to an unnamed British collector.

The record sold for £77,500 (98,000 euros, $110,000), a spokeswoman for the Omega Auctions, based in Warrington in northern England, told AFP.

The price tag was well above the £10,000 initial estimate, showing the object's "historical importance", the spokeswoman said, adding that bids had come in also from China and the United States.

The ten-inch 78 RPM acetate record featuring the single 'Hello Little Girl' on one side and 'Till There Was You' on the other was pressed at the historic HMV record store on Oxford Street in London.

It was pressed by the group's manager Brian Epstein to present to Martin at record label EMI -- a meeting that led to a breakthrough for the Beatles.

Ian Shirley, from the Rare Records Price Guide, said earlier the record was a "Holy Grail" for collectors.

The record was previously owned by Les Maguire from the band Gerry and the Pacemakers. Maguire said he was given it by Epstein, who also managed his band, in 1963 and had kept it in his loft until now.

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