A rare set of Beatles photos has sold for £180,000, shattering their estimated auction price of £50,000-£70,000.

Photo: © Bloomsbury Auctions

Captured by Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan, the ‘out-takes’ were sold alongside the final cover shot for The Beatles’ Abbey Road album.

A spokesperson for Bloomsbury Auctions’ London saleroom said: ‘The original idea was conceived by Paul McCartney. He sketched out an idea of the cover for Macmillan who recreated the sketch into print.

‘Holding up the traffic, local police gave Macmillan ten minutes to photograph the Fab Four walking back and forth across the now famous zebra crossing on the morning of 8 August 1969.

‘The fifth of his six shots, selected by Paul McCartney, would become the album cover for The Beatles’ last-recorded album and one of pop music’s most famous and recreated images.’

The set of Beatles photos sold to an unnamed private overseas telephone bidder.

Macmillan, who died in 2006, climbed a ladder in the middle of the north-west London street for his assignment, using a Hasselblad camera.

Sarah Wheeler, head of Photography at Bloomsbury Auctions, said: ‘This set of photographs has triggered a brilliant reaction from the market.

‘It has been a pleasure to share them with the public at our salerooms, even for a short time, and a delight to see them attain such a worthy price.’

In 1989, Macmillan is quoted as saying: ‘That photo’s been called an icon of the ’60s.

‘I suppose it is. I think the reason it became so popular is its simplicity. It’s a very simple, stylised shot.’