"My Favorite Museum Exhibit": John Lennon's Rolls Royce

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42 Responses to “"My Favorite Museum Exhibit": John Lennon's Rolls Royce”

  1. jon_anon says:

    um, it’s a dick and balls? (stylised, so somewhat anatomically incorrect)

  2. IronEdithKidd says:

    There are any number of things which I think it could be.  None of which are particularly SFW.

  3. Jack Holmes says:

    Is it a symbol suggesting Lennon was a huge hypocrite?

  4. proxient says:

    two eggs, sunny side up in a frying pan.

    or

    the logo of swiss musician dave phillips [http://www.davephillips.ch/index.html]

  5. Mujokan says:

    [double post deleted]

  6. ComradeQuestions says:

    Elder wand and two resurrection stones in a frisbee?

  7. SomeGuy says:

    The early stages of cellular mitosis.

  8. Stephen Bell says:

    I really wish I could find a picture of a “ritual object of uncertain purpose” (British Museum label) from Tutankhamun’s tomb.

    From a bucket-shaped base with leaf designs rises a vertical stalk of about 1.5 metres height, topped with a stylised lotus flower. Around the stalk twines a leafless vine[?] or rope, to the lower end of which (about 1/4 up the height of the stalk) is attached a “wine-skin” (a leather vessel still very much in the shape of the headless beast it came from).

    The whole thing is carved in wood and covered with gold leaf.

    The exhibition was a temporary one in the mid-1970s so the museum won’t have a photograph; but maybe one exists in a full catalogue of the tomb furnishings.

    It has me wondering what 21st-century objects might, many centuries from now, attract a “ROUP” label.
     

  9. Allen says:

    I think it’s a stylized portrait of Lennon himself.

  10. Mujokan says:

    There are a couple of similar unicode symbols, the genealogical symbol indicating divorce and a mathematical symbol for negated infinity.

    When I put the image above into Google image “search by image”, this came up. http://i.imgur.com/NHQCN.jpg

    PS: Couldn’t they just write to Yoko?

  11. mrclamo says:

    It’s a stick-figure portrait of Dolly Parton.

  12. tomrigid says:

    Stripper with a zipper.

  13. Ian Langehough says:

    My dad owns the American license plates to this car!

  14. Luke Apker says:

    Perhaps a take on the peace symbol. The symbol’s “Y” branches are presented as circles, denoting a desire for peace in perpetuity, as well as peace from both sides.

  15. Easy. It’s the six fingered hand of Eris with the fingers touching.

  16. voiceinthedistance says:

    It’s sanskrit for Paul Is Dead.

  17. Mujokan says:

    The most I could find is that it’s used on his stationery when he was living at the Kenwood House in Surrey. This is where he had the gypsy caravan and the Rolls. The correct orientation is with the line horizontal, with a circle above and below, enclosed in another circle.

    http://kenwoodlennon.blogspot.com/2009/11/kenwood-cynthia-lennon-fanclub.html
    http://kenwoodlennon.blogspot.com/2010/01/kenwood-symbols.html

    Someone in the comments says it is a “spirit wheel”, but this is wrong because a spirit wheel should be a single circle with spokes. I think the speculation that it has something to do with transcendental meditation is more likely, but I can’t find any such symbols with that connection.

    • Sean Rodman says:

      The letterhead is a great connection that we hadn’t seen before – we’ll follow up with that blog and see what else we can turn up.

  18. D. Keith Higgs says:

    In much the same way the familiar peace symbol is composed of the semaphore signal positions for “ND” for “Nuclear Disarmament” this is a stylized construction of “YOKO”

  19. Richard Schneider says:

    Certainly not Western astrology, but all kinds of meta-spacey unity/duality themes could hide in it.

  20. clearly infinity aspirin

  21. Palomino says:

    Maybe the problem is  focusing in too much, maybe it’s part of a larger image or idea. Here’s a full view. 

    The full figure could be considered an estoile, or star with wavy arms, I prefer to think of the entire image as a compass rose with an undefined center, especially since this is a moving craft, a funny twist on a Land Yacht ala Yellow Submarine.

    A logogram?

    Some of the old Apple Label images are not all that different, an apple cut in half with the stem intersecting, all within a circle. Abstract, yes, but not far-fetched.

    Personally, I see a lowercase d and p within a circle.

  22. Beanolini says:

    John Lennon’s Rolls? My local museum had to make do with Yoko Ono’s hearse.

  23. Hanglyman says:

    It’s an infinity pill, the kind with an indentation down the middle so it’s easy to split in half.

  24. Tom B says:

    Any info on who painted it? Looks a lot like fileteado porteño, a vernacular style from Argentina.

  25. Ian Rogers says:

    It actually looks a lot like the symbol for libra, turned on its side & mirrored. Maybe a riff on the figure 8 for infinity?

  26. esobocinski says:

    Roof murals are usually intended for viewing from the front or back.  I expect that this is no different, and so is a pair of circles over and under a horizontal line.  This seems to me to be a classic reflection ideogram, where the horizontal line is a horizon and the lower circle is the top circle reflected.  Is it the sun or the moon?  Reflection would be consistent with his transcendental leanings.

  27. The idea to paint the car was by a Dutch artist who was a part of the artist collective known as “The Fool”, who also painted Eric Clapton’s SG guitar that he used with Cream. The car itself was painted by gypsies.

    • Mujokan says:

      I think there is some confusion as to who did the painting. There is an invoice from Steve Weaver who did the work on behalf of J.P. Fallon Ltd.

  28. Wingnut says:

    Some more detailed (no pun intended) information on the painted Rolls:

    http://beatles.ncf.ca/rolls.html

  29. Well, I can’t believe nobody has seen it yet.  It’s the emblem of the Doom Patrol.  Lennon was a member during the ’60s.  

  30. Eric Riley says:

    Two things immediately came to mind.  The first was that it was reminiscent of the “Vesica Piscis” also known as the “chalice well” design.  But that images has the two circles intersecting creating a lozenge and the line is at a 90 degree angle to this one.  So it’s close but not quite.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesica_piscis

    The other thing that came to mind was the image of The Devil in Crowley’s “Thoth Tarot.”  The goat there is posed over two testes which have dancing people inside, but the two spheres are bisected by a rod with an Egyptian style winged cap.  http://passingstrnge.tumblr.com/post/1466407821/xv-the-devil-thoth-tarot-deck-by-lady-frieda  Though that one is not circumscribed…

    I keep looking at this and thinking that it reminds me of a magical symbol. I tried a whole round of google image searching and all I’m getting is spreadsheets and psychedelia. 

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