Trash or Treasure: Beatles items collectible but not rare

Khristi Zimmeth
Special to The Detroit News
Tymias Schell, 36, of Ferndale displays his John Lennon lithograph prints.

It’s hard to resist the pun. Tymias Schell needed expert "Help!" with some Beatles items he wanted appraised and brought them recently to DuMouchelles auction house and art gallery.

“I am including photos of all the items however there is definitely ones that have a much higher priority,” he wrote to the column in an email. “In one photo there is a collection of Beatles memorabilia, most notably the Beatles Route phone and the 'A Hard Day’s Night' cards. The other photos are of four John Lennon lithographs, each numbered out of 5,000. All of the items were my father's and were passed on to me.”

Jerry Anderson took a look at all of the items at a recent appraisal session held downtown. “My dad was a huge Beatles fan,” Schell told him, adding that the lithographs even survived a house fire in 1992. There are four large images, all numbered out of 5,000 and bearing an Asian stamp. “There is water damage on the bottom of three of the lithographs,” he pointed out to the appraiser.

Anderson said that, unfortunately, the images all bore a printed signature, making them more of a print than an original work of art and thereby reducing the value. “These were probably done in the 1980s so they’re not as old as you might imagine,” he added. “Because they are a print, the value isn’t any better for the ones with the lower numbers or ones made earlier.” He valued each of them at about $75 to $100.

The Beatles telephone is a novelty piece but also done a bit later than many would expect, he says. “I think it dates to about the 1990s,” Anderson said. “I found it online and it's worth about $50.”

The cards from "A Hard Day’s Night" also had nominal value – about $6 each -- even though the appraiser estimated that they date to the late 1960s or 1970s. The Yellow Submarine pins from 1968 – Schell had three out of the four-piece set – would bring $50 to $65 at auction or online, he said.

“All in all, you have approximately $500 worth of Beatles items if you were to sell at auction,” he told him.

Schell says the items were special to his dad but that he’s never displayed them. “For that reason, I think I’d be willing to sell them to someone who would enjoy them,” he explained.

Do you have an object you would like to know more about? Send a photo and description that includes how you acquired the object to: The Detroit News, Trash or Treasure?, 160 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226. Include your name and daytime telephone number. You may also send your photo and description to If chosen you’ll need to bring the items to an appraisal session. Letters are edited for style and clarity. Photos cannot be returned.

About this item

Item: Beatles items

Owned by: Tymias Schell

Appraised by: Jerry Anderson

Estimated value: approximately $500