Backwards Abbey Road photo
The famous photo reversed with The Beatles walking right to left.

It is one of the most iconic album covers all time, but few have ever seen it like this. A rare photo of The Beatles walking across Abbey Road in the opposite direction to that in the classic album cover photo has been sold for £16,000 at Bloomsbury Auctions in London.

The snap was taken by photographer Iain MacMillion on 8 August 1969, who was introduced to the band through Jon Lennon's partner Yoko Ono. As opposed to the album cover, The Beatles instead walk from right to left across the Zebra crossing, with Paul McCartney also wearing sandals as opposed to being barefoot in the original. The cigarette that McCartney also holds in the original is either missing or hidden.

The photo was up for auction earlier today, and was subjected to a flurry of bids by fans eager to get their hands on the curiosity. Initially expected to sell for £9,000, the fact that the final selling price almost doubled is testament to the enduring legacy of the fab four. Last year a document of the band refusing to play to segregated crowds sold for £14,407.

Taken at the pedestrian crossing by Abbey Road studios in St. John's Wood, north-west London, MacMillion was only given ten minutes to take the photo whilst traffic was diverted. A mecca for Beatles fans, the crossing was given grade II listed status in December 2010.