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Beatle mania: Letter from Lennon’s Aunt Mimi expected to bring in the bids at auction

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A reply from John Lennon’s Aunt Mimi to an adoring fan is set to go under the hammer as part of Wolverhampton auction house Cuttlestones’ Specialist Collectors Sale next month, and is expected to attract an international audience of bidders.

Mary Elizabeth “Mimi” Smith raised her nephew at her home ‘The Mendips’ in Menlove Avenue, and it is from this address that the 1963 letter was issued. Sent to a Miss V Stoker of 54 Pirton Road, Hitchin, Herts it dates from the early days of the ‘Fab Four’, with the band already on its meteoric rise. The note reads:

“Dear Vivienne Thanks for letter. There are two thousand requests, it’s impossible for me to grant one without the other. John saw my mail & nearly collapsed with fright, but sends love to you, Best Wishes Mimi Smith”. The envelope had been stamped and addressed by the recipient and sent with her request for an autograph; postmark dated 10 Dec 1963. It has been consigned to auction by the original recipient who discovered the note during a lockdown clear out and recalls how, despite being disappointed that she didn’t receive the requested autograph, she treasured the “but sends love to you” and probably slept with it under her pillow. The letter has gone through several house moves with her over the last 57 years and is in excellent condition for its age.

Rosie Blackburn, Cuttlestones’ resident expert on all things ephemera, says:

“Aunt Mimi letters do come to market quite regularly as she was prolific not only in her correspondence with John but in replying to his fan base. What sets this apart, however, is that most date from later in John’s career. This hails from a time when the final Beatles lineup had enjoyed their first hits and embarked on a busy touring schedule, just before they ‘broke America’, which makes it particularly interesting. The fact that it was sent from The Mendips is also in its favour, as much Aunt Mimi ephemera dates from after she moved to the bungalow John later bought her at The Sandbanks in Dorset.

“These factors, alongside its provenance and condition, are likely to pique the interest of an already strong collectors’ community and we anticipate international interest – especially from China, Japan and the US. We expect this to achieve between £200 – £400, but it could well fetch more depending on the bidders. If anyone has any similar memorabilia – be it Beatles, Rolling Stones, David Bowie or other acts from the period – we’d be delighted to offer a valuation with a view to selling it alongside this piece in our 19th March auction.”

The Aunt Mimi letter is set to sell during Cuttlestones online Specialist Collectors’ Sale on Friday 19th March 2021. All the sale room’s auctions are currently online only in response to COVID-19 guidelines, and online valuations are available by sending photographs via email to [email protected] or WhatsApp on 07949 603872. To find out more about buying and selling through Cuttlestones, head to or call 01902 421985


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