The document, which formally bound the Fab Four to Epstein's management roster for five years, was inked by all five parties in October, 1962, two months after Ringo Starr joined the band as former drummer Pete Best's replacement.

The contract is estimated to be worth between $480,000 (£300,000) and $800,000 and will be one of the highlights at Sotheby's Rock & Pop sale in London on 29 September (15).

The upcoming auction also features autographed original copies of the pop icons' albums Please Please Me and Meet the Beatles, while a rare first edition of The White Album, stamped as "No. 01", is valued at between $8,000 (£5,000) and $11,200 (£7,000).

Other notable Beatles lots include a John Lennon detention sheet from his time at Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool, England, and a handwritten letter the Imagine hitmaker penned to Red Mole magazine editor Tariq Ali.

The sale will also include memorabilia from Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan, whose annotated version of typed lyrics to It's A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall is estimated to sell for at least $240,000 (£150,000).