The Beatles’ first recording contract is expected to fetch up to 150,000 US dollars (£96,300) when it is sold at auction in New York next month.
The deal was signed in Hamburg, Germany, where the band honed their craft performing in the city’s boisterous nightclub district.
The 1961 recording session produced the single My Bonnie. The tune was released only in Germany and never hit the top charts. But the song led directly to the Beatles’ discovery back home, a contract with EMI and their first hit, Love Me Do.
It is the centrepiece of a Beatles collection spanning the band’s entire career and is being sold by the estate of Uwe Blaschke, a noted German Beatles historian who died in 2010.