This original 1964 Beatles metal tray has some personal historical significance for us. It's the last one of 1200 we bought from the man who first made them in England in 1964. Here's the shortened story...
We opened our antique shop in Greenwich Village in Dec. 1969. The Beatles broke up in 1970 after Paul McCartney announced he was leaving the group. From that day, we started accumulating Beatles memorabilia...buying personal collections, store and warehouse stock, manufacturers' leftovers and even record company promo items. We had no plan but to store the stuff till the Beatles (hopefully) made a comeback. The comeback never happened but Howard Smith, a writer at the Village Voice heard about our Beatles memorabilia stash and wrote us up in a 1972 column (see photo). Overnight, we became known as 'the Beatle Store' with a line at our door the next morning and the phone ringing off the hook, including a Wisconsin radio station who was on the air as we answered the phone. It was clear that Beatles fans were not yet ready to give up the Fab Four.
We were contacted by the man who had made these Worcester Ware trays...he had 1200 of them left. We bought them all. We thought we'd sold them all over the years but found this stray tray among our warehouse boxes. This is the very last one.
It's not as minty as the other 1199 trays were. This one has some scratches on the surface, some nicks to the litho at edges. There was a sticker on the back of these trays that said Worcester Ware...this tray doesn't have the sticker. But it's guaranteed to be one of the 1964 trays.
It measures 13 by 13 inches. It's marked 6 MB MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN. After the Beatles regained a lot of their popularity, these trays were reproduced marked Made in England. The repro tray weighs about half as much as this original tray.
The tray features colorful portraits of John, Ringo, Paul, and George with autograph facsimiles. It's a piece of Beatles collectibles history. And a wee bit of our own.
(NOTE - there's a tray to my right in the photo...taken for the Village Voice write-up in 1972.)
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