Musical memorabilia can fetch thousands of pounds

Our antiques expert Allan Blackurn looks at memorabilia connected with the King of Rock...

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 5:00 pm
These cards are perfect for Elvis fans celebrating their own special day

Yesterday was the 85th anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley- it’s sobering to think that if he’d stuck to his New Year diet, he could still have been around.

With millions of devoted Elvis fans all over the world, I couldn’t let this anniversary pass. It’s a timely reminder that rock and pop memorabilia has been a hugely popular and vibrant field for fans since the 1950s.

It was only in the early 1980s however, when Sotheby’s held their first auction dedicated solely to The Beatles and items went for extraordinary sums of money, that people realised the potential in collecting musical memorabilia.

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Programmes, concert tickets, photographs or even napkins can all be valuable, especially if signed by the artist. Original lyrics, instruments and clothing closely identified with a particular star fetch high prices. Buddy Holly’s glasses sold for £30,000 and Elton John’s old specs can fetch up to £10,000! Geri Halliwell’s infamous Union Jack dress sold for over £41,000 in 2017.

Inevitably the passing of a star leads to demand and price inflation. As valuable as an item may be when the star is alive, it is usually once they have died that their now finite memorabilia becomes truly valuable, both sentimentally and financially.

Over 40 years after his death, Elvis is still the king. His autograph value jumped from $800 to $3,730 between 2000 and 2018, with a continuing average annual increase of 10.8%, according to the autograph index. Michael Jackson’s autograph fetched $190 in 2000, whereas after his death in 2009, it rose to $1,900.

Be aware that mass produced items do not accrue in the same way. Walking on the weird side however, Elvis’ empty prescription pill bottles fetch up to $4,000. Or how about a jar of Elvis’ authentic hair that sold at auction for a whopping $16,000!

These cards are perfect for Elvis fans celebrating their own special day. They are amongst a range in the centre including posters, prints and figurines, and start at £1 each.

While investment sites recommend 80s and 90s performers like Madonna, Nirvana and Oasis for sound returns in the next 20 years, they also foresee classic acts like Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles will never be outsold. Unless of course, you’re talking about the King: Elvis Presley.