What would you be willing to pay for a signed copy of the Beatles' 1967 masterpiece 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'?

According to Heritage Auctions, the firm that handled the bids for a recent sale that included a 'Sgt. Pepper's' signed by all four members of the band, the most the seller could expect to get was somewhere around $30,000 -- which is a pretty hefty chunk of change, but still nowhere near the actual winning bid. According to the Hollywood Reporter, "an unnamed buyer from the Midwest" ponied up $290,500 for the album, which not only set a new benchmark for signed Beatles memorabilia (eclipsing the $150,000 paid for a copy of 'Meet the Beatles'), but broke the record for all items in its category.

That's more than it would cost to buy a lot of Midwestern homes, but this isn't a case of some well-heeled doofus being separated from his money; in fact, according to at least one expert, it's well worth the investment. "With my being thoroughly immersed in Beatles collectibles for over 30 years, it takes something extraordinarily special to excite me," said Perry Cox, author of 'The Official Beatles Price Guide' series of books. "I consider this to be one of the top two items of Beatles memorabilia I've ever seen -- the other being a signed copy of 'Meet the Beatles.'"

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