The Beatles' first record contract has sold for $75,000 in New York.

The contract was signed in Hamburg in 1961 by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and drummer Pete Best - who was later replaced by Ringo Starr - and was purchased for $75,000 (£48,000) at the sale at Heritage Auctions.

The document details the band's first single 'My Bonnie' which was a rock 'n' roll version of a children's classic and was only released in Germany.

It also states their first name, which was Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers, because the band were backing the British singer at Hamburg's Top Ten Club at the time.

Consignment director at Heritage Auctions, Dean Harmeyer, said that The Beatle's time in Germany was the reason they were recognised by music boss Brian Epstein, who went on to steer them through their most famous years.

He told the BBC: ''Had they not spent this time in Hamburg, they may have not become the musical force that they did.

''Had they not recorded My Bonnie they may have never come to the attention of Brian Epstein.''

The Beatles went on to record their first hit single 'Love Me Do' the following year under the management of Brian Epstein.