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Rare items from John Peel’s archive to be auctioned

Featuring radio-played test pressings and personal correspondence 

John Peel collection

Rare items from John Peel’s archive are set to be auctioned next month.

Among the items are an annotated mono pressing of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Two Virgins’ LP, estimated at £15,000-to-£20,000, and a five-page letter from David Bowie that features a series of original sketches worth £3,000-to-4,000. There's also a copy of ‘Queen II’ that comes with a letter hand-written to Peel by Freddie Mercury, valued at £1,000-1,500.

The items have been selected by Peel's family and will be featured in the sale Live In Session: Property From The John Peel Archive, which will be held at Bonhams' Knightsbridge in London on 14th June.

"In going through the accumulation of 40 years of pop music moments, we decided that some of the most interesting items might find a home, with fans of his programme or of the artists whose music he played," wrote the Ravenscroft family in a statement.

They continued: "Bonhams has assisted us to carefully select what is being offered for sale, and we hope these items find the attention and appreciation that we're sure John would feel they warranted. We had no desire to split up his beloved record collection but have included in the sale a selection of particularly rare or unique records that do not take away from the integrity of his archive."

A veteran DJ who discovered dozens of major bands and interviewed an eclectic array of artists, including Aphex Twin and Luke Vibert, John Peel had built up a collection of over 120,000 records during his 40-year career. He died in 2004, aged 65.

Back in February, Four Tet appeared as a guest on BBC Radio 6 show Peel Acres with Tom Ravenscroft, son of the late John Peel, where he explored Peel's record collection and was asked to select six records from Peel's vast collection.