Osbourne family buys Ozzy memorabilia collection days before Sheffield auction
A collection of early Ozzy Osbourne memorabilia has been bought by the Black Sabbath singer’s family just days before it was due to go on sale in Sheffield. The items, including postcards from Ozzy to his parents and lyrics to early Sabbath songs, were scheduled to be auctioned by Sheffield Auction Gallery on September 30.
But the lots were today withdrawn from sale. Auctioneer Stephen Flintoft revealed every item had been bought by the Osbourne family. “The items have been sold by private treaty, for an undisclosed sum, to the Osbourne family, ensuring that this important piece of hard rock musical history remains intact,” he said. The collection dates from 1968 to 1973, and includes publicity posters for Earth, the band that became Black Sabbath, along with hand-written song lyrics, photographs, and postcards from Ozzy and his then wife Thelma, to his mother in Birmingham written while on tour. Perhaps the most interesting item, amongst so many were the handwritten lyrics headed to the song ‘Changing Phases’ a title later changed to ‘Solitude’, which featured on the 1971 double platinum Black Sabbath album ‘Master of Reality’.
Mr Flintoft added: “It was a great piece of hard rock history and we were delighted to be able to bring it to the market. “We received a huge amount of pre-auction interest, from all over the world from fans, collectors and the press, particularly Rolling Stone Magazine. It has been one of the most enquired about lots we have ever had in auction, particularly on social media.
“It carried an initial pre-auction estimate of £2,000 to £3,000 but we would have increased that prior to the sale itself. “Up to our press release today we were unable to give further detail so it has only just gone out that they are no longer to be auctioned on September 30. However, we do expect potential purchasers to be very disappointed that they are no longer available.”
The collection was discovered by a Sheffield resident in the 1980s when the old London Dockland was demolished. Black Sabbath, who are on their last ever tour entitled ‘The End’, last came to Sheffield in December 2013.