Phillips London Auctions Iconic Muhammad Ali and The Beatles Photograph by Chris Smith

Register Your Bid: Own a Piece of History with Muhammad Ali and The Beatles Photograph at Phillips London​.

Ali and The Beatles. Taken at the 5th Street Gym, Miami, 1964
Ali and The Beatles. Taken at the 5th Street Gym, Miami, 1964

Phillips London invites collectors to seize a unique opportunity in an extraordinary online-only auction. A rare photograph by Chris Smith, featuring the legendary Muhammad Ali with The Beatles, is now open for bids. Don’t miss your chance to own a piece of music and sports history.

Introduction to the Auction:

With the auction set to conclude on May 16, 2024, Phillips London showcases a standout photograph capturing a historic moment between Muhammad Ali and The Beatles. This piece represents a remarkable convergence of music and sports legends, making it a must-have for enthusiasts and collectors alike. Register your bid and become part of this iconic story.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith

About Chris Smith and ‘The Greatest’:

Chris Smith, born in 1937, has long been celebrated for his sports photography. His new upcoming book, ‘The Greatest,’ produced in association with Alon Zakim Fine Art, brings together nearly 100 photographs of Muhammad Ali at the height of his career. These images, paired with Smith’s recollections, span from the early days of Ali’s career to his final years before retirement. The book also recounts a serendipitous moment in 1964 at Miami’s 5th Street Gym where Smith, originally in the US to photograph The Beatles, captured both Ali and the band in a spontaneous and iconic meeting.

Highlight from Last Year’s Auction:

  • Last year, a similar piece by Chris Smith, titled ‘Ali and The Beatles’ from 1964, exceeded expectations by selling for £40,640, well above its estimate of £15,000 – £20,000. This sale underscores the significant interest and high-value collectors place on Smith’s work.
  • The photograph, a gelatin silver print mounted on a sizable 122 x 226 cm image and framed at 137.4 x 241 cm, was signed and numbered 16/20. This testament to Smith’s artistry continues to draw attention and admiration from across the globe.
Last year’s Phillips London auction, showcasing ‘Ali and The Beatles’ for £40,640
Last year’s Phillips London auction, showcasing ‘Ali and The Beatles’ for £40,640

Historical Context:

The Beatles’ impact on both music and cultural landscapes has been well-documented, with publications such as LIFE The Beatles: Then, Now, Forever (Meredith, 2020) providing an in-depth look at their enduring legacy. This photograph of Muhammad Ali and The Beatles embodies the extraordinary cross-cultural moments that are vividly captured in such literature. For a recent perspective, see The Guardian’s review of the book, which highlights the timeless appeal and ongoing relevance of The Beatles’ story.”

Auction Details and Registration:

Potential bidders are encouraged to register their interest as the auction approaches its closing date. This opportunity is not just a chance to own a piece of photographic art but also a slice of history that captures the essence of two monumental cultural phenomena.

Press Coverage and Significance:

The upcoming sale has already sparked interest among collectors and art enthusiasts. Rachel Campbell-Johnston of The Times praised Smith’s ‘startlingly innovative and engaging’ style, emphasizing his unique ability to document life’s vivid contrasts through his lens. Read the full article here.


Phillips London’s auction promises not only an exciting opportunity for enthusiasts and collectors but also a chance to engage with the stories behind these legendary figures. Don’t miss out on this exceptional offering of cultural and historical significance.