A brush with stardom decades ago can spark a windfall decades later – especially if your uncle was John Lennon’s carpenter!
In the rock and roll world of antiques and collectables a simple piece of paper can sometimes net a small fortune – especially when it comes to music memorabilia.
Celebrity sells and talent that emerged decades ago has a lasting impact. Consequently, the highest value lots in our June 23 Music Memorabilia Auction are star autographs.
And still at number one in the hit parade - 61 years after they formed in 1960 - are The Beatles. The sale features four fab Beatles’ signatures. And if you have some, dig them out because the best example has a guide price of £5,000-£6,000.
Lot 208 is a tiny autograph book featuring signatures of the Fab Four on separate pages. The quirky story about how they were obtained adds to the provenance and made me smile.
The man we have to thank for this find was the vendor’s uncle. In the 1960s he was doing some carpentry work for Beatle John Lennon and his wife Cynthia. Consequently, he made friends with Lennon's chauffer who obtained the autographs for him.
Provenance is important with star autographs. As the Beatles fame grew, their signatures were sometimes penned by members of their team rather than the band themselves.
Lot 205 – more Beatles signatures – has an estimate of £3,000-£5,000 and another nice back story. This time their autographs feature on a copy of The Record Mail, dated April 1963. The band penned their names on an article and, importantly, signed it in person when the vendor met them in 1963.
The vendor told us: “I was employed in the entertainment business with Chris Wainwright Agency and Promotions in Stoke. In 1963 I booked with Brian Epstein of NEMS Agency, The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J Kramar and the Dakotas, The Big Three and Tommy Quickly at an agreed fee of £150 to play at the Kings Hall, Stoke.
‘They appeared in April, 1963. The Beatles did a split date, appearing at the El Rio Ballroom, Macclesfield, before driving to Stoke to do the last turn on that bill. A friend asked me to get the Beatles autographs for her little sister.”
The Beatles take centre stage again in lot 183, estimate £1,800-£2,200. It’s a framed Beatles display with signatures from George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and John Lennon.It includes a record signed by McCartney and dedicated to Keith with the message ‘Up The Owls’. If you like The Beatles, support Sheffield Wednesday and your name is Keith this could be quite special for you!
Last of our Fab Four signatures is lot 201 - all of the band’s names signed on one piece of paper, estimate £1,800-£2,200. But the Beatles are far from the only stars to grace our Music Memorabilia Auction. Lot 207 is a signed Jimi Hendrix postcard featuring signatures from members of The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1969, estimate £1,200-£1,500. As well as Jimi himself, the scrap of paper is signed by Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell.
Hendrix autographs are particularly sought after because he died young aged only 27 in 1970, hence there aren’t too many of them around. The American musician, singer, and songwriter is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music.
More recent guitar heroes emerge in lot 202. It’s a 12in Oasis White Label single of Columbia, signed by both Liam and Noel Gallagher. The musical brothers have had their ups and downs. Perhaps the discovery of a record featuring both signatures is the forerunner to a longed-for band reunion. This item was won in a Times Newspaper competition in 2004 and comes with letter of authentication, estimate £300-£400.
Another fascinating lot is 132, a framed photo and signature of Davie Jones - later known as David Bowie. It comes with a certificate of authentication, estimate of £500-£600.
Finally, let’s step back in time and embrace comedy films. Lot 206 is a signed Laurel and Hardy sketch which comes with a photo of Carol and Fred on their wedding day. The famous comedy duo were staying in the same hotel as the happy couple, crashed their wedding and left them with a wonderful memento. It has a guide price of £200-£300.
Browse our June 23 Music Memorabilia catalogue www.hansonslive.co.uk.
Music Memorabilia Auction entries invited
Hansons is sourcing entries for its next Music Memorabilia Auction. If you have a piece of music, film or TV memorabilia you’re considering selling, please arrange a free valuation by emailing music (and wine and whisky) valuer Josh McCarthy: [email protected].
Free valuations of all types of antiques and collectables are available at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, Monday-Saturday. To book an appointment, email [email protected] or call 01283 733988.