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Could your musical discoveries - or the Backstreet Boys’ trousers - hit the right note at auction?

Posted on 14/10/2020 in Press Coverage

Have you got some Backstreet Boys music at home – or even a pair of their trousers languishing in your wardrobe?

We ask because two pairs of Backstreet Boys trousers bearing the names 'Nick' and 'Brian' - The American group included Nick Carter and Brian Littrell - are set to go under the hammer on October 20 in our Antiques and Collectors sale. The top estimate for the clothing, plus related music memorabilia, lot 3565, is £80 - a potential bargain if you like this band.

The vendor revealed: “They were acquired by my then teenaged daughter and her friend by their coach driver while I was inside the NEC Birmingham watching their fab concert back in the 1990s. They've been in my wardrobe since then and it’s time to sell them on.”

In a year when going out, concerts and live gigs have been brought to an abrupt standstill it’s nice to be reminded of the joy music brings us. Plus, if you’ve uncovered some musical lockdown finds you could be filled with even more delight.

We have a music memorabilia sale on November 17 and on Thursday, October 29, from 11am-3pm, music expert Claire Howell will be at Etwall Auction Centre offering free valuations. She has decades of experience and can tell you if your vinyl records could net you a tidy sum or if that star autograph you’ve treasured for years is worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

In 2017 a Nottinghamshire client sold her 1967 Jimmy Hendrix autograph for £5,700 at Hansons. Hendrix autographs are particularly valuable because he died aged only 27 in 1970. He is a member of the 27 Club, a group of musicians who passed away at 27. Others include Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, 1969; Janis Joplin, 1970, and Jim Morrison of the Doors, 1971. Scarcity increases value so signatures from 27 Club members are sought after.

Beatles autographs do well, too. A set left tucked away in a filing cabinet for decades sold for £5,600 at Hansons. However, care must be taken to ensure they are genuine. As the band achieved mega-stardom, members of the Beatles’ team often signed autographs on their behalf. Claire is among the experts who can spot a fake.

But it’s not just about autographs. Objects once used by musical legends can prove popular. For example, we’ve sold John Lennon’s leather jacket and car keys, Elvis’s cufflinks, a glove worn by Madonna on tour and trousers used in a Scissor Sisters video.

Right now, Claire is sourcing lots for our November sale and tells me a collection of 4,000-plus soul, jazz and blues records and CDs have been consigned together with a prog rock collection of records and a quantity of sealed CDs featuring music from rock and pop icons including The Who, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Vinyl records have come of age in the collectors’ world with rare discs spinning to great success. Typically, a batch of records collected in your teens or early 20s may contain a few discs potentially worth £30 to £60 each. Auction off a handful and you may pocket a few hundred pounds.

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Records from the 1990s can be more valuable today than, say, LPs from The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. That’s because a limited amount of vinyl was being pressed in the UK in the 90s. Due to the introduction of CDs in 1983, by the end of the 90s most UK pressing plants had closed. Ultimately, this means 90s vinyl is harder to find. In the auction world, rarity equals desirability.

So, what music could net you a windfall? Are you an Iron Maiden fan? If you have The X Factor, A Real Live One, A Real Dead One and Virtual XI you have reason to smile. The X factor and Virtual XI can sell for a few hundred pounds each.

Maybe Oasis were your thing. Any 1980s and 90s 12inch or 7inch discs or LPs from the Manchester outfit are sought after. Oasis LPs regularly sell for in excess of £80-100.

Other bands that can prove a hit when it comes to vinyl prices are Joy Division, The Clash, New Order, The Smiths, The Stone Roses or Placebo. Albums produced by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan or David Bowie from 1992 onwards are sought after, too.

That’s not saying older is not better. Led Zeppelin’s first album with turquoise text instead of orange is sought after along with Jimi Hendrix’s risqué cover Electric Ladyland or the Puppet Sleeve. The Rolling Stones’ Let it Bleed, complete with the poster and information sticker, is another winner.

If that’s music to your ears, Claire Howell will be offering free valuations at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, DE65 6LS, on Thursday, October 29, 11am-3pm. No appointments are necessary, Covid regulations strictly adhered to. Alternatively, email [email protected].

Main image credit: Backstreet Boys performing in Stockholm, Sweden. Author Meany, Wikipedia