Pattie Boyd’s Love Triangle with George Harrison and Eric Clapton Revealed in Letters Headed to Christie’s

Love letters, personal photos, and handwritten lyrics are being auctioned at Christie's.

A set of original Pattie Boyd photographs of the Beatles. Courtesy Christie's.

A trove of musical memorabilia, intimate items from a famous rock ‘n’ roll love triangle, and Swinging London fashions will hit the auction block as Christie’s offers the collection of Pattie Boyd, who is legendary for inspiring songs like “Something,” the Beatles tune penned by George Harrison, and Eric Clapton’s “Layla.”

A model, photographer, and muse in London’s peak counterculture years, Boyd met Harrison on the set of the Fab Four’s 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night and later left Harrison to be with Clapton, who used Layla as a secret nickname for her and also wrote the song “Wonderful Tonight” about her.

In the sale is a note dated to 1970 and addressed to “L” in which Clapton wrote to Boyd: “I am writing this letter to you, with the main purpose of ascertaining your feelings towards a subject well known to both of us… What I wish to ask you is if you still love your husband?”

The online sale takes place from March 8–22, with all lots now viewable online. They will be on public display at the auction house’s London headquarters March 15–21.

“I’m happy to let go of these things which I have treasured and loved for so many years,” said Boyd. “These items represent special moments in my life, but now I think it’s time to move on and share what I have with others.”

A psychedelic minidress from the Fool Collective. Courtesy Christie's.

A psychedelic minidress from the Fool Collective. Courtesy of Christie’s.

The priciest lots on offer include the original artwork Clapton chose for the cover of Derek and The Dominos’ 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs with a high estimate of £60,000 ($76,000) and original handwritten lyrics for George Harrison’s “Mystical One,” estimated at £50,000 ($63,000). A bit more modestly priced are love letters to Boyd from Clapton, estimated at up to £15,000 ($19,000) and an original design doodle for an Apple Records LP label by Harrison, which is expected to fetch up to £5,000 ($6,000).

Boyd was also a photographer in her own right, and the sale includes not only photos of her but her own shots, including a set of photographs she took during the Beatles’ historic 1968 stay at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India (estimated at up to £5,000, approximately $6,000).

A Rolex watch from the Pattie Boyd collection. Courtesy Christie’s.

Also on offer are items like a Rolex watch (up to £4,000, or $5,000) and a psychedelic minidress by the Fool Collective (up to £1,500, or $1,900). The cheapest items are individual Polaroids, mostly from Clapton’s time with Boyd, starting at £300 ($380).

“Pattie Boyd’s extraordinary life and career chart some of the key moments of the cultural revolution that changed the world in the 1960s,” said Adrian Hume-Sayer, director of private and iconic collections and head of sale at Christie’s London. “This unique collection includes an array of cherished personal letters, photographs and mementoes, which provide a tangible link to that amazing time.”

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