John Lennon's iconic glasses and divorce papers detailing the end of his marriage to first wife Cynthia to fetch £20,000 at auction

  • Glasses, said to be Lennon's favourite pair, were given to his housekeeper
  • Her brother borrowed them from singer to wear to fancy dress party in 1965
  • Divorce papers based on housekeeper's claims will also go under hammer
  • Dorothy Jarlett described how Lennon's drug-taking and affair with Yoko Ono took toll on his marriage 

John Lennon's iconic round glasses are expected to fetch up to £20,000 at auction alongside revealing divorce papers which detail the singer's acrimonious split from his first wife Cynthia.

The explosive divorce documents, based on claims made by Lennon's housekeeper, describe the increasingly strained relations inside the family's Surrey mansion, as the singer's drug habit and affair with Yoko Ono took its toll on the marriage.

The glasses, said to be Lennon's favourite pair, are going under the hammer after being loaned to the housekeeper by the singer so that her brother could wear them to a fancy dress party.

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Iconic: John Lennon's iconic round glasses, which he wore constantly through the 60s and 70s, are due to fetch £20,000 at auction

Divorce documents written by Lennon's housekeeper, which describe the strained relations inside the Lennons' Surrey house in the mid-60s, are also due to sell for tens of thousands of pounds 

Fans will recognise the glasses as similar to those worn on the cover of Let It Be and Sgt Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band during the 60s and 70s.

The pieces of musical history are being sold in auction later this month by Omega Auctions who expect the items to sell for a collective £20,000. The auction house once sold Lennon's tooth for £23,000. 

According to the auctioneers, the glasses were given to housekeeper and nanny Dorothy Jarlett during her four-year employment with the Beatles star.

Lennon had heard how Mrs Jarlett's brother was going to a Just William fancy dress party and was desperate for items to make him look like a schoolboy.

Since Lennon had a few pairs, he happily handed one set to the housekeeper. When her brother returned them after the party, Mrs Jarlett ended up keeping the glasses.

Auctioneer Paul Fairweather, 34, said: 'This was his favourite type of glasses. If you look at the pictures of John Lennon in the 60s and 70s he used to wear them all the time.

'What's nice is that they also come with a really strong story. There have been glasses of Lennon's sold before but none have ever had a story as strong as this one.'  

He added: 'I am hoping it might go for more than £10,000 as they are special.' 

Meanwhile, the divorce papers, only seen in public for the first time this year, consist of a five-page statement drafted by the solicitors who dealt with the Lennons' divorce in 1968.

The document reveals what Mrs Jarlett saw while working at the Lennon family home Kenwood in Weybridge, Surrey.

In the papers, Mrs Jarlett describes how Yoko Ono would visit the country pile while Cynthia was on holiday.

Fans will recognise the Windsor glasses, of which Lennon had several pairs, as similar to those worn on the cover of Let It Be and Sgt Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band during the 60s and 70s

She also revealed how Lennon became nonchalant towards his wife around 1967 - five years after they tied the knot - while the Beatles were at the height of their fame.

In the statement, which she edited after it was returned by the solicitors, she said Lennon was uninterested in playing the father figure role and would smack Julian if he misbehaved.

The housekeeper even described how she once made breakfast for the Lennon, Cynthia and Yoko Ono after the Japanese singer stayed the night at the property.

She said: 'Before Mrs Lennon went to Greece, I had seen Yoko Ono at the house twice. I had brought tea and coffee into the room and John and Yoko had always been chatting together.

'I had no reasons to suspect any illicit association. It appeared to me that she was rather more a friend of John; she always spoke to John and I never saw her talking to Mrs Lennon.'

She added: 'On one occasion, I know that she stayed at the house overnight, but Mrs Lennon was there and I made breakfast for the three of them the next morning.'   

The divorce document reveals how Mr Lennon's drug-taking began to affect the mood in the house and how he and Cynthia would argue about Julian. The pair married after meeting at art college in Liverpool

In the papers, Mrs Jarlett describes how Yoko Ono would visit the country pile while Cynthia was out of the country, and how she once found the pair in bed together

In the document, which is being auctioned off alongside the official envelope, the housekeeper also described how Mr Lennon's drug-taking began to affect the mood in the house and how he and Cynthia would argue about Julian.

She said: 'I do not think Mr Lennon showed the usual interest the father showed in the household. He was certainly not bad with Julian but he appeared to be preoccupied with other matters. 

'When Mr Lennon was at home there was often rows during meals when John tended to be too severe with Julian and criticised the way he behaved at the table

'Julian, then a sensitive child, would become upset and Mrs Lennon would argue about this. As a result, there would be an argument about the way Julian was being brought up. Mr Lennon would say Mrs Lennon was too soft with him.

She added: 'I think that he was probably not enough with his son owing to his profession to know how to handle him.' 

She also described how Mr Lennon was 'not keen' to take Mrs Lennon out in public. Many of the Beatles' groupies were unaware that Lennon, seen as a heartthrob to the band's adoring fans, even had a wife.  

A letter from the solicitor written at the time of the Lennons' divorce is also included in the auction bundle

She said: 'From about a year ago, Mr Lennon did not seem as keen as before to take Mrs Lennon out with him to various functions, studio recordings etc, to which he had previously taken Mrs Lennon.

'I quite often heard Mrs Lennon ask whether she could accompany him, but he had refused, making excuses for not taking her. He would only take her if they have been invited together.

'The atmosphere seemed to change and there seemed to be more tension. As a result, Mrs Lennon was often drepressed and unhappy.' 

In a section of text she later crossed out in blue pen, Mrs Jarlett recalls how she discovered Lennon's drug taking habit after he left packets of cannabis lying round the house.

She told how she hoped it was a 'phase' that he would 'get over'.  

The Lennons' marriage troubles came to a head in February 1968 when Lennon drunkenly confessed to sleeping with other women during their marriage.

He suggested Cynthia take a holiday in Greece, and when she returned she found her husband and Yoko Ono sitting on the floor opposite each other wearing only bath robes. 

The envelope, in which the housekeeper's statement was returned to her, is also up for auction 

The final nail in the coffin came in August 1968 with the news that Yoko was pregnant. 

Speaking about the papers, auctioneer Paul Fairweather said: 'This fascinating and detailed insight into life at Lennon's Kenwood home between the Summer of 1967 and June 1968 provides a perspective that has never previously been shared.

'It tells of the problems that led to the breakdown of Cynthia and John's marriage with Dot recalling in detail the arrival of Yoko at the house and how Yoko and John's relationship developed while Cynthia was away on holiday.

'Dot also recalls the tension and awkwardness in the house at the time.' 

Omega specialise in musical treasures and have previously sold Elvis Presley's bible for £50,000. Chairs of Lennon's also inhertied by Dot have previously sold for £5,000. 

The glasses come with a signed letter of provenance and signed legal affidavit from Dot Jarlett's son. 


Cynthia Lennon, nee Powell, pictured with John Lennon during their marriage 

Cynthia Lennon, nee Powell, grew up in a middle-class community on the Wirral and first met John Lennon while they were students at the Liverpool College of Art in 1957.

The pair married in 1962, before Beatlemania turned her clubbing musician husband into one of the most famous men in the world.

At the time, Cynthia was just 22 and had fallen pregnant with their son Julian. Beatles' members George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein - who was best man - all attended their wedding. 

In 1964, the Lennons bought Kenwood, then a 22-bedroom home, in Weybridge, Surrey, for £20,000.

Kenwood became the place to visit for the other Beatles, various American musicians and total strangers that Lennon had met the previous night in London nightclubs.

But at the height of the Beatles' early success, she was kept so far in the background that many of Lennon's female fans were not even aware of her existence. She stayed at home bringing up Julian while the Fab Four toured the world and topped the charts. 

While she had suspicions of Lennon's infidelity over the years, with friends telling her that Lennon had had numerous affairs as far back as their time together at art college in Liverpool, Cynthia ignored the warnings.

The Lennons' marriage troubles came to a head in February 1968 when Lennon drunkenly confessed to sleeping with other women during their marriage. The pair divorced in August that year when Yoko Ono found out she was pregnant.  

Fearing a lengthy divorce process, the couple settled outside of court, with Lennon agreeing to pay Cynthia £100,000 and give her custody of Julian.

The divorce prompted Paul McCartney to pen the Beatles' classic Hey Jude to help Julian cope with his parents' separation. He changed the name Julian to Jude in the song.

The line 'take a sad song and make it better,' is about the Lennons' broken marriage and its impact on their son.

Cynthia died in March this year, at the age of 75. After her death, Yoko Ono paid tribute to Cynthia, calling her a 'wonderful mother' with a 'strong zest for life'. 

Julian also posted a moving video tribute to his late mother with a song he had written in her honour.  

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