Bag One / Erotic Lithographs | John Lennon, 1968-69

 A lithographic sketch, by John Lennon shows his wife Yoko Ono in a sexual context within
a document released by The National Archives March 23, 2004 in London.
The document, which has been classified since 1970, contains sketches and letters which were
seized by police to form part of the evidence for the indecency trial against the London Art
Gallery which had been displaying the material.
Bag One / Erotic Lithographs,  John Lennon, 1968-69 
Bag One / Erotic Lithographs,  John Lennon, 1968-69 
Bag One / Erotic Lithographs,  John Lennon, 1968-69 
Bag One / Erotic Lithographs,  John Lennon, 1968-69 
Bag One / Erotic Lithographs,  John Lennon, 1968-69 
Bag One / Erotic Lithographs,  John Lennon, 1968-69 
Bag One / Erotic Lithographs,  John Lennon, 1968-69 

A Lennon alphabet poem which would serve as an introduction to the edition 


A is for Parrot which we can plainly see
B is for glasses which we can plainly see
C is for plastic which we can plainly see
D is for Doris
E is for binoculars I’ll get in five
F is for Ethel who lives next door
G is for orange which we love to eat when we can get them because
they come from abroad
H is for England and (Heather)
I is for monkey we see in the tree
J is for parrot which we can plainly see
K is for shoetop we wear to the ball
L is for Land because brown
M is for Venezuela where the oranges come from
N is for Brazil near Venezuela (very near)
O is for football which we kick about a bit
T is for Tommy who won the war
Q is a garden which we can plainly see
R is for intestines which hurt when we dance
S is for pancake or whole-wheat bread
U is for Ethel who lives on the hill
P is arab and her sister will
V is for me
W is for lighter which never lights
X is easter—have one yourself
Y is a crooked letter and you can’t straighten it
Z is for Apple which we can plainly see

This is my story both humble and true
Take it to pieces and mend it with glue


Abecedarium, John Lennon, 1968-69


John Lennon, Bag One, Cinnamon Press, New York, 1970


In 1968 I suggested the lithographs, John, like I, had no idea that the project would become 
such an involved and drawn out affair. 

John Lennon was slightly more enthusiastic about the project when, with the help of publisher
 Ed Newman and the Curwen Studio, I devised a way to shortcut the complicated procedure of 
working directly onto stone blocks or zinc plates. By using specially treated "litho paper", which 
I had sent out to his house along with an array of suitable brushes, litho ink, and crayons, John 
would be able to draw or paint in his usual manner. The images could later be transferred from 
the paper onto sensitized zinc plates by means of an advanced technical process, and the 
lithographs printed in the traditional way.

Anthony Fawcett, [John's assistant c 1970] biography 'One day at a time', 1976 




In 1969 John Lennon asked fashion designer Ted Lapidus to design a white leather bag to house a 
set of fourteen erotic lithographs he had made. Known as "Bag One", the limited edition of 300 bags 
incorporated zips, handles and a lock, was hand-stitched in Italy and later autographed by the Beatle.
 Ted Lapidus also designed the white suit that Lennon wore on the cover of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album.


John Lennon's erotic lithographs first exhibited in the 'London Art Gallery' at 22 New Bond Street 
on January 15th 1970 for a two weeks duration , but on the 2nd day Police raided the gallery and 
consfiscated 8 of the 14 exhibits on the grounds that they were indecent.

The opening of an exhibition of John Lennon's drawings, held at a London gallery. 16th January 1970
The fourteen prints depict the sexual habits of Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono and are for sale at £41
 each. Detective Inspector Frederick Luffa visited the exhibition later with a search warrant, took 
a number of prints for examination, and Scotland Yard closed the show.


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