One of the rarest and most-coveted of Beatles rarities hit the auction block Friday -- a still-sealed copy of the Yesterday and Today album from its original Butcher cover pressing. Many a serious collector of Fab Four memorabilia have diligently searched for even a tattered copy of the rarity that was pulled from record store shelves in the US almost immediately after the album's release in 1966, ordered to be destroyed, and be replaced by the more subdued "Trunk Cover" version. Millions bought the second version, but few managed a copy of the infamous original.
Heritage Auction Galleries of Beverly Hills, California handled the sale. With praise from experts such as Beatles memorabilia specialist Perry Cox, who describes this copy as the finest he's ever seen, the disc expected to sell for more than $30,000. Even the Heritage description made you want to bid:

"This isn't just a nice copy, as rare as that would be - it's still factory-sealed and easily the finest copy we've ever seen.  But don't just take our word for it - none other than noted Beatles expert Perry Cox has provided a Letter of Authenticity attesting it's the finest copy he's ever seen as well!
Also included are copies of three "recall" letters documenting the fascinating history of "The Butcher Cover" and its supposed complete destruction. Missed a few!
We can't imagine a finer example of the Beatles' most famous album cover!

The album sold to a lone phone bidder for under the expected price: $26,290.00.