The graphic album artwork was released in 1966 and sparked controversy at the time due to its depiction of the band covered in decapitated baby dolls and raw meat.
The sale stands as “a world record for a Beatles butcher cover and the third-highest price paid for a vinyl”.
The photo was taken by Australian photographer Robert Whitaker and was suggested to be a protest against the Vietnam War. Due to to the controversial nature of the subject, the album cover was withdrawn from sales the same year as it was released. It was replaced with a cover showing the band standing around a travel trunk.
Lennon’s copy of the album cover was kept in his New York apartment until it was gifted to Beatles fan, Dave Morrell. A spokesman for Julien’s Auctions said the American collector had “bought the record as an investment believing it will increase in value in the years to come”.
The sale stands as “a world record for a Beatles butcher cover and the third-highest price paid for a vinyl”. Prior to this, Ringo Starr’s copy of The White Album became the most expensive vinyl of 2015 when it sold for £522,438.