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Beatles wax busts sell for £81,500

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The busts were on the left of the cover, wearing dark suits and looking at the Beatles in the center.

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George Harrison
John Lennon
Paul McCartney
Ringo Starr

LONDON, England -- Wax busts of three Beatles used on the "Sgt. Pepper's" album cover have sold at auction for £81,500 ($145,380).

The busts of John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison were recently found in a back room at Madame Tussauds wax museum in London, along with a wax head of Paul McCartney from a later date.

The set of four Beatles busts were the subject of frenzied bidding at the museum Thursday night, the UK's Press Association reported

They had been presumed missing until just weeks ago, when an employee unearthed them in a forgotten corner, PA said.

"They hadn't been seen for almost 20 years," a spokesman for the auction house Cooper Owen said.

"They're incredibly rare. Obviously there are various Beatles heads but these are on the most famous album cover of all time."

The John, Ringo and George busts were featured on the left of the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" cover, wearing dark suits and looking at the colorfully attired Beatles in the center.

The busts were borrowed from Madame Tussauds for the 1967 shoot by artist Peter Blake, who also used 62 photographic enlargements of famous people to create the background for the cover.

"You wouldn't think that anyone would be willing to pay this much for some wax," Cooper Owen creative director Louise Cooper told PA.

"But this isn't any old wax -- these heads truly represent a slice of music history. We're delighted their value was recognized by the lucky buyer."

The winning bidder was not identified.

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