Skip to main content

What's in a name? Fortunes

Shaun Smillie
The prominent pieces of the collection are the Lennon signature and the autographs The Beatles signed at their 1963 Royal Command performance. File photo


Christine got around. She hobnobbed with the stars of her day, if only briefly.

But in those brief encounters, she persuaded them to append their autographs - and she did it over and over.

The band The Searchers signed her book, as did Cliff Richard. John Lennon signed it twice.
Christine collected those autographs more than half a century ago and next week they are expected to fetch tens of thousands of rands at auction in Johannesburg.

The prominent pieces of the collection are the Lennon signature and the autographs The Beatles signed at their 1963 Royal Command performance. It was at this performance, in front of Princess Margaret, that Lennon famously remarked: "The people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands. And the rest of you, just rattle your jewellery."

Two autograph books are to be auctioned on Wednesday and Thursday at Stephan Welz & Co auctioneers at Sandton City.

The second book contains the autographs of the likes of comedian Benny Hill, Kojak actor Telly Savalas and boxer Henry Cooper.

Some just gave their names, others signed off with a formal "yours sincerely" and one performer took the time to draw a cartoon duck.

Together, the books are expected to make between R35000 and R50000. "We haven't cottoned on to the autograph market like the rest of the world, autograph collecting here is more Mandela signatures and the 1995 Rugby World Cup team," said Savo Tufegdzic, head of the stamps and coins department at Stephan Welz & Co.

But there was a recent exception. Stephan Welz & Co auctioned the seven-volume visitors' register from Johannesburg's now defunct Gramadoelas restaurant.

The book, which contained messages from and the signatures of such dignitaries as Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth and David Bowie, was sold for R200000.

According to the PFC40 Autograph Index, which values autographs, The Beatles signatures have become hot property.

A signed photo of the band, valued at £5500 in 2000, is worth £27500 (about R514855) today, it says. A Lennon autograph would have increased in value by 900% over the same period.

One other interesting signature is up for auction in Sandton: US football star OJ Simpson wrote on a visit to South Africa: "To Dorette, Peace and Love!"

It was signed in 1980, 15 years before his acquittal for the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. It is not clear who Dorette was.

As for Christine, the autograph books reveal little about her besides her name.

The seller apparently is not connected to Christine.

To order my book Autograph Hell, please click HERE
For more information about my Summit Murder Mystery series, please CLICK HERE
Follow me on twitter, HERE
'Like' my Facebook page, HERE
Subscribe to my YouTube channel, HERE and HERE


Popular posts from this blog

James Dean’s Intimate Letters to Girlfriend Coming to Auction

Three James Dean handwritten letters to his girlfriend, never before offered for sale, will be sold at Christie's London November 23, 2011.I've posted the article below from Autograph Magazine.  Take a look! 
James Dean handwritten letters are among the rarest and most valuable of Hollywood autographs. Only a few have come to market since Dean’s tragic death in a 1955 car crash, just 24 years old. So when Neil Roberts, Christie’s Head of Pop Culture in London, asked for any information we might have on them to help him with a potential consignment, I had to know more.

But I had to wait….

“At the moment they are reluctant to send me any copies,” Neil said. “However the names and places they provided seem to add up. I’m sure you will understand that at this time I cannot pass on any details.”

That was a year and a half ago. The wait was worth it.

On November 23, Christie’s will auction three James Dean handwritten letters never before offered for sale during their fall Pop…

How to Preserve your Autographed Photo Collectables

I came across this article and thought it was a good one to share!  We all know that preserving your photos is very important!  What is the point of collecting autographs if the photos become faded and start to deteriorate in a few years because you don't handle them properly?  Take a look at these autograph preservation tips!

1. Acid free is the way to go - Whether you choose plastic bags, cardboard folders or frames to display your autographs, you need to make sure that the material you use is acid free. Standard bags, folders and frames are made with materials that release acids over time. These acids can make your photographs and other memorabilia fade and disintegrate. Make sure that the products that you buy to store your autographs is clearly labeled acid-free. If the package doesn't specify that, don't trust it with your photos.

2. Keep humidity low - Humidity causes moisture which can be devastating to paper products like photographs. To keep your autogra…

Is the selfie the new autograph?

By Brent Briggeman

Advertisement Every time a fan pulls out a phone and asks Michael McKenry to pose for a selfie, it makes him laugh.

It reminds the Rockies catcher of "The Goonies," where one of the young characters created a device that holds the camera out in front of him.

"When you think about it, he's the one who invented the selfie stick," McKenry said of the kid in the 1985 film. "And it took all this time for technology to catch up."

Technology has caught up, all right. Roughly 100 million selfies are taken daily according to a study from Google, those making up part of the nearly 900 billion photos snapped in a year according to Agence France-Presse. The Internet is filled with surveys that tell what your selfie habits reveal about your personality, Oxford Dictionaries named selfie the Word of the Year in 2013 and if there was any doubt selfies had hit the mainstream, that was erased when host Ellen…