The document is extra special because it was the first signed by Ringo Starr, who had replaced drummer Pete Best in the band just two months before.

Auction experts at Sotheby's were a little disappointed by the sale on Tuesday (29Sep15), because they expected the contract to go under the hammer for as much as $800,000 (£500,000).

Just days after the Fab Four signed the contract with Epstein, their single Love Me Do became a hit and Beatlemania began.

Sotheby's manuscripts specialist Gabriel Heaton tells Reuters, "Without this contract, and the relationship it represents, it seems inconceivable that the Beatles could have achieved all that they did."