Most expensive autograph - who else is in top 10?
Friday, 21 November, 2014
The tragic actor's signature is said to be worth £18,000, whilst Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has the dearest of any living 'celeb' at £3,750.
Tragic actor James Dean still commands the most money for an autograph out of any living or dead celebrity, a new study has revealed.
The Rebel Without A Cause signature is said to be worth £18,000 on the open market, beating martial arts superstar Bruce Lee whose mark is valued at £11,000.
In third place for the most valuable autograph is British naval hero Admiral Lord Nelson, whose name written in either his left or right hand is worth £10,500.
The most valuable signature of any living ‘celebrity’ is Cuban dictator Fidel Castro at £3,750. His squiggle is said to be very rare, mainly because autograph hunters hardly ever get past his security entourage.
Sir Paul McCartney signed hundreds of autographs during his musical career but the fact his is the second most valuable living name at £2,500 is due to the popularity of the Beatles.
Prince William is the third most desired autograph at £2,250, easily beating younger brother Prince Harry whose is worth just £500.
And the best-performing signature as an investment over the last 14 years is that of George Harrison. In 2000, when the former Beatle was still alive, his name was worth just £195 and since his death it has shot up to £3,500.
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, has risen from £550 in 2000 to £8,500 today. He died in 2012.
The survey was carried out by Bristol-based memorabilia website Paul Fraser Collectibles, which studies autograph prices paid for at worldwide auction and through dealers on an annual basis.
They have now produced the 2014 edition of the PFC40 Autograph Index, listing the top 40 of the world’s most sought-after autographs.
Most autographs are based on signed-photographs but signatures on letters and greetings cards are also taken into account.
Dan Wade, of Paul Fraser Collectables, explained the only signature the Index does not take into account is Shakespeare’s as only six examples exist and as they are all held in museums or universities they never come on to the market
He said James Dean’s autograph was the most valuable due to rarity.
He said: “He wasn’t famous for very long before his death in 1955 aged 24. He didn’t have much of an opportunity to sign many autographs so they are extremely rare.
“It is nearly 60 years since his death yet his name is still extremely popular today among collectors.
“Ever since the 1950s Fidel Castro has been the subject of numerous assassination attempts and is very well-guarded. Try and get up close to him for his autograph and you will very quickly find yourself surrounded by heavies.
“Winston Churchill’s signature is worth £7,000 and is extremely popular among British and American collectors. But he had a long political career and signed lots of official documents so examples aren’t rare by any means.”
Also valued at £7,000 is Marilyn Monroe’s signature while Elvis Presley’s is worth £3,500.
Mr Wade said Prince William’s name was more sought-after since his marriage and birth of son George reignited worldwide interest in the Royal Family.
He said: “Protocol dictates that members Royal Family can’t sign autographs so people tend to collect things like Christmas cards that they have signed.
“It’s fascinating that Prince William’s signature is three times more valuable than his younger brother. That is evidence of the added cachet associated with the future King.”
In the PFC40 Autograph Index, President Barack Obama’s signature is valued at £350 while Vladimir Putin’s is valued at £100
Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s signature is said to be worth £1,950 and boxing legend Muhammad Ali is valued at £1,750
Mr Wade added: “The only autograph we can’t take into account is Shakespeare’s. If a fresh example of his emerged on the open market it would be worth millions of pounds.”
Most expensive 'dead' autographs
- James Dean - £18k
- Bruce Lee - £11k
- Admiral Lord Nelson - £10,500
- Princess Diana - £8,950
- Albert Einstein - £8,950
- Neil Armstrong - £8,500
- JFK - £7,950
- Winston Churchill - £6,950
- John Lennon - £6,950
- Marilyn Monroe - £6,950
Most expensive 'living' autographs
- Fidel Castro - £3,750
- Paul McCartney - £2,500
- Prince William - £2,250
- JK Rowling (signed book) - £1,950
- Muhammad Ali - £1,750
- Ringo Starr - £1,250
- Madonna - £995
- Prince Harry - £500
- Barack Obama - £350
- Pope Francis - £150
Extract From The Mirror On-line