Pattie Boyd Sells Private Collection, Including George Harrison and Eric Clapton Artifacts, for $3.6 Million

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rock treasures

The original painting from the cover of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – first purchased by Clapton, then gifted to Harrison, and then given from Harrison to Boyd – sells for $2.5 million at auction

Pattie Boyd, the former wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton and the inspiration for the latter’s “Layla,” sold her private collection of letters, photos and more – including items from the two rock legends – at auction for $3.6 million.

Boyd’s stunning collection of 111 artifacts tells the story of her whirlwind romance with Harrison after they met on a set of A Hard Day’s Night in 1964, their time together at the height of Beatlemania, her disillusionment with him in the late Sixties, and Clapton’s attempts to steal her away even though he was close friends with Harrison.

Perhaps the most stunning item was a handwritten 1970 letter to Boyd from Clapton. “Dearest L,” he wrote. “It seems like an eternity since I last saw or spoke to you…If there is still a feeling in your heart for me … you must let me know!..Don’t telephone. Send a letter … that is much safer.”

When she rejected his initial overtures, Clapton descended into a dark cloud of alcohol and drug abuse that lasted for years. Prior to that, he poured all of his misery, lust, and heartbreak over the love triangle into the 1970s Derek and the Dominoes classic “Layla.”

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Boyd’s collection contains Emile Théodore Frandsen de Schomberg’s original painting La Jeune Fille au Bouquet, which was used as the cover of the Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs album. Clapton gave Harrison the painting in the late Seventies, and he gave it to Boyd in the late Eighties. The painting sold for $2.5 million at auction, more than 33 times its pre-auction estimate, the Associated Press reports.

By that point, Boyd had left Harrison for Clapton. They married in 1977. Boyd’s collection includes a handwritten Clapton setlist, polaroids from an impromptu Cream reunion in 1976, handwritten lyrics to an unfinished Clapton song entitled “Sweet Loraine,” and various postcards and letters from their marriage, which ended in 1989.

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