A unique piece of Beatles memorabilia the original printing plates for John Lennon's first book are set to go under the hammer this month.
The metal plates were used to print words and illustrations by the Beatle in the 1964 book John Lennon, In His Own Write.
The lot includes 35 of the 40 printing plates used to produce the book, which was the first solo project by any of The Beatles.
The book included an introduction by Paul McCartney detailing how the band first got together in Liverpool and contained Lennon's short stories, poems and line drawings, often surreal, whimsical and nonsensical with the Beatle using free association and improvisation.
It was an immediate success and has been reprinted many times but first-edition copies are rare.
The book was transformed into a play, co-authored with Victor Spinetti, at the National Theatre.
Omega Auctions in Stockport, Cheshire, is expecting international bidders, due to the interest in The Beatles and John Lennon in particular.
Auctioneer Karen Fairweather says: "We have done research and we have not found anything like this to come up for sale before; we have not come across any printing plates.
"I think particularly because of the tragic nature of John Lennon's death at such an early age and his talent, there seems to be a huge interest in his work."
The printing plates, which have been put up for auction on May 19 by an anonymous seller from London, are estimated to fetch between Stg3000 and Stg5000 ($NZ 6,100-$NZ10,170).