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The most lucrative collection you’ve never heard of…

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 was treated to a surprise from Profiles in History this year.

Everett's collection is the world's largest nad most comprehensive of movie ephemera

Everett’s collection is the world’s largest nad most comprehensive of movie ephemera

If you were among the thousands of collecting nerds that flocked to the event and happened to stumble upon the auction house’s stall, dozens of the finest movie posters, lobby cards and ephemera would have greeted you.

Profiles in History are well known for handling some of the greatest memorabilia collections (they were behind the astonishing Debbie Reynolds sales in 2011 and earlier this year), but this stunning selection came from an unfamiliar name – Morris Everett Jr.

You may have heard his name if you are a devotee of movie poster collecting, but to most his name doesn’t ring a bell – despite featuring in newspapers and magazines daily.

That’s because Everett, a man with a plan that started gathering all the movie ephemera he could more than 50 years ago and now owns the world’s largest collection of its kind, also collects movie stills and rare images.

When he found himself on the brink of bankruptcy in 1990, his collection came to the rescue.

Approached with a business offer he couldn’t refuse, Everett began to licence some of his images to magazine and newspapers across the world.

Everett's images earn him some serious money, with the world's top publications regularly calling on his collection

Everett’s images earn him some serious money, with the world’s top publications regularly calling on his collection

Remember when Frank Sinatra died in 1998, and TIME magazine published his image on the cover? Yep, that was Everett’s image.

Likewise for Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, when Everett supplied an iconic shot to the National Enquirer.

Now, one of the main issues investors have with collectibles is that, unlike stocks and shares, unique memorabilia doesn’t pay dividends. It may perform better in the long term, but what about in the mean time, when regular payments help to pay the bills?

Everett’s collection provides just one answer to that problem, but there are many ways collectors in any area can supplement their income while enjoying their collection.

Classic car collectors may choose to rent a portion of their collection for those who fancy a day’s driving in a luxury motor, art collectors may loan their best works to museums for a fee.

Your chance to combine work and pleasure

Your chance to combine work and pleasure

For music memorabilia collectors, Paul Fraser Collectibles has a unique photograph of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, which is being sold with copyright and full licensing rights – this could be the first step to your lucrative collecting business.

by Joe

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Kurt Cobain Day makes debut this week

Kurt Cobain’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington holds its first Kurt Cobain Day this Thursday – on what would have been the Nirvana frontman’s 47th birthday.

The city’s mayor, Bill Simpson, said the day of commemorations is “in recognition of his artistic achievements.

“Aberdeen residents may justifiably take pride in the role our community played in the life of Kurt Cobain and the international recognition our community has gained from its connections with Kurt Cobain”, he added.

Kurt Cobain and Nirvana 1992

Kurt in 1992, two years before his death

The move has caused controversy in some quarters, with complainants arguing that Cobain’s drug taking is not a subject to celebrate.

I can see their qualms, yet if we follow that line of argument the only musician we could celebrate with a clear conscience would be Cliff Richard. No offence, Cliff.

But my reason for discussing Cobain today is this:

Kurt Cobain Day is evidence that he still matters. That his influence is still felt keenly. And that he will continue to be celebrated for years and decades to come.

Which is why I feel Kurt Cobain memorabilia is among the most exciting collectibles markets around. His Mosrite Gospel Mark IV guitar, for example, auctioned for $131,000 in 2006.

You can see the Top 10 Kurt Cobain memorabilia sales here.

One sector that looks undervalued to me is his signature, with signed photos auctioning for around £200 ($333).

And if you’re in the Washington State area, Thursday could be a great place to start your Cobain collection. Because amid the musical performances and the unveiling of a statue, a Cobain-signed guitar will be up for auction.

And if you’re not based in the north-west of the US, why not give us a call and we can source your Kurt Cobain memorabilia for you?

Email info@paulfrasercollectibles.com or call 44 (0)117 933 9500.

Dan

Halloween collectibles – keep your movie memorabilia, the reality is spooky enough!

With Halloween arriving, the world of collecting inevitably looks toward horror memorabilia. The auction world is full of items from the fiction’s most frightening characters – Michael Myers’ signed mask, an autographed copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a Frankenstein movie poster.

Well, you can keep them. For me, the creepiest collectibles are those that come from real-life creatures of the night. The ordinary can quickly become the extraordinary, the mundane transformed into murder most foul.

Take for example, the Albert Pierrepoint memorabilia collection.

Albert Pierrepoint, memorabilia, collection, hangman, pierrepoint, executioner, halloween, collectible,

Albert Pierrepoint (1905-1992) was your average Yorkshire schoolboy. An average schoolboy who, aged just 11 years old, was asked to complete a “when I grow up” exercise in class, to which he responded: “When I leave school I should like to be the Official Executioner”.

That’s a morbid statement that is likely to have sent social workers into a frenzy whichever way you look at it, but in context its something (slightly) less sinister than the murderous desires of a young boy.

Albert was the son of Henry Pierrepoint who, along with his brother Tom, were the UK’s top choppers in a time when capital punishment was still legal. Following the family tradition, Albert took the lives of almost 500 of the country’s criminals in his long-lived career including some of the most famous war criminals and high-profile murders.

The collection, which includes items from each of the family members, is nothing short of chilling. Having recently rifled through its contents at Paul Fraser Collectibles, I can confirm that it sent more than just a small shiver down my spine.

On the surface, there is nothing in the collection that will make you jump out of your skin: a journal, a watch chain, photographs of the family. It’s when you put the items into context that their gruesome nature becomes apparent.

The journals see the Pierrepoint’s coolly calculating the weight and drop of their victims. “Very heavy body, ordinary neck” – just another day at the office for Albert.

The chain, a fine silver piece befitting of the UK’s official executioner, was once attached to the watch that counted down the final seconds of hundreds of lives.

The photographs, somewhat sinister in sepia, show the ordinary men going about their otherwise ordinary lives. Not even Albert’s wife knew of his occupation, at least until he retired. But place these next to the plaster casts of Albert Pierrepoint’s face and hands and the man is temporarily resurrected, bringing a haunting character to the collection – This was the last face that hundreds of criminals ever saw, the hands that secured the noose around their necks.

No spooky movie or horror novel can match the grim reality of this collection.

Joe

‘The dingo stays here’

Did you see that Jane Austen’s ring will be staying in the UK after all?

The Jane Austen House Museum managed to get together the required £149,000 ($238,000) to keep the ring on British shores, after US singer Kelly Clarkson had “bought” it at auction last year.

Clarkson had reckoned without the might of the British government, which from time to time slaps temporary export bans on some “national treasures” that look like they’re about to leave the country.

The dingo leaves the UK on November 5 unless a new owner is found

Stubbs’ dingo leaves the UK on November 5 unless a new owner is found

The bans, which last just a few months, are intended to provide museums and institutions with sufficient time to purchase the items. In this case, it worked.

“The export licensing controls for objects of cultural interest are designed to balance the need to keep nationally important objects in this country, the rights of owners and the encouragement of a thriving art trade,” says England’s Arts Council, which advises the government on these matters.

The current collection of items in limbo makes for interesting reading, and suggests that someone at the Arts Council, or perhaps Britain’s minister for culture, Ed Vaizey, has a particular penchant for Australian animals.

Here’s the list:

  • Two paintings by George Stubbs, depicting a kangaroo and a dingo, respectively.
  • A photo album containing snaps by British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron.
  • Rembrandt van Rijn’s ‘Rembrandt Laughing’.
  • Letters and documents from British army officer James Wolfe.
  • A Bentley Blower 4.5 litre racing car.
  • A collection of works pertaining to Thomas Baines’ North Australian Expedition from 1855 to 1857.

When we get word on the dingo’s new home, you’ll be the first to know.

Dan

Collecting Meissen porcelain – a new found appreciation

Now, contrary to popular opinion, working at Paul Fraser Collectibles isn’t always fun and games. Sometimes we have to write about collectibles that we just don’t appreciate in the interests of providing you with the latest news, regardless of subject matter.

My personal dislike is Meissen porcelain. It’s colourful, ostentatious designs do not appeal to me in the least – I can’t really pinpoint the reason for this, but it is certainly not to my taste.

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That is, until I took a well-earned break to visit Berlin. While in the German capital, I took the chance to take a trip to Charlottenburg – a 17th  century summer palace built for the wife of Frederick III, the city’s great founder.

Gazing round the palace’s lavish Baroque-style rooms was all rather pleasant, so imagine my horror when I turned a corner to find a monumental display of Meissen porcelain, plastered from wall to wall.

However, I forced myself to enter (mainly due to the exit being on the other side of the room) and it was within this grandiose setting that I learned to appreciate the skill and level of detail that adorns each piece, and saw how the ceramics could find their place in a collection.

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This revelation has certainly made my life a lot easier. The Marouf Collection of 18th Century Meissen porcelain, the world’s most important amassment, has sold over at Bonhams and I was only too happy to share my new found appreciation…

Joe

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