Lennon autographed the copy of Double Fantasy on December 8, 1980. Just hours later its owner shot him dead outside his apartment, in an event that shook the entertainment world.
The record was later used in evidence at the trial of Chapman, who was refused parole for the seventh time earlier this year.
Bob Zafian, spokesman for auction house Moments In Time, tells NME: “We are very excited to bring such a historically significant piece to the market. I have never come across a piece with such provenance – police reports, fingerprint documentation, letters from the district attorney. It goes on and on.”
The album was last sold in 2003, when it fetched $525,000 (£327,000). In 1986 Chapman wrote a letter to an auctioneer inquiring about the potential value of the item, saying: “On December 8, 1980 I shot and killed John Lennon. Before this, earlier in the afternoon, I had asked him to sign his Double Fantasy album. He did this also signing the date: 1980. I then placed this album behind the security guard’s booth where it was found after my arrest.
“I have tried unsuccessfully for years (and 2 attorneys) to get this item back, seeking to place it at auction and donating the money to a children’s charity. I felt it was the least I could do. Now, is there any way to assess the value of an item such as this?”
The unnamed recipient’s response is not recorded.
-Classic Rock Magazine