Sunday, April 21, 2024

Beatle Bonanza: “Layla” Painting Sells for $1.9 Mil at $3 Mil Cashout Auction of Pattie Boyd Harrison Clapton


I have nothing but admiration for Pattie Boyd Harrison Clapton.

On Thursday at an auction at Christie’s in London she realized over $3 million for her collection of rock and roll memorabilia.

Chief item was the original painting that was used for the cover of Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla and Assorted Love Songs” album. La Jeune Fille au Bouquet, circa 1950-55, painted by Emile Théodore Frandsen de Schomberg, sold for $1.976 million.

Eric Clapton bought the painting from the artist’s son in 1970, a year after he died. In the late 70s, Clapton gave it to George Harrison, possibly in exchange for Pattie, who divorced Harrison for Clapton. Then a decade later, Harrison gave the painting to Pattie. Did he know how much it would be worth? I’ll bet he did. And he probably didn’t want it, since “Layla” was all about Boyd while she and Clapton were having their affair.

The rest of the auction was all personal items involving Boyd’s two ex husbands and the Beatles including jewelry and correspondence. A telegram from Eric to Pattie in 1970 — when she was married to George — reads “DOES YOUR SILENCE MEAN BEGONE?” It sold for $5,000. (Obviously, her silence did not mean that. It meant, All things must pass.)

We learn from Eric’s letters and cards that he called his wife “Nelly” or “Nell.” There was plenty of signed correspondence, even a Clapton sculpture that sold for nearly $10,000. Pattie just turned 80 years old, so it was the right time to cash out. She represents a generation of rock legend wives and girlfriends who, if they were smart enough to keep all their gifts and minutiae, have big pay days coming for being muses without credit.

PS Everything worked out for George Harrison. He married Olivia Trinidad in 1978, had a son Dhani, and they have tended his legacy with the utmost respect. Pattie has been married to her partner, Rod Weston, since 2015. They’ve been together since 1991. Clapton has been married for 22 years. He has four daughters.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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