With the Grammy Awards on January 28, music might be on the mind of many collectors and sellers. As we've done with previous posts on jewellery, coins and sports collectibles, we want to offer our fans a thorough overview of the many ways your music memorabilia can make you big money.
Beatlemania Reigns Supreme
To no one's surprise, any collectibles around the Beatles is still hot for buyers. When Beatlemania reached a feverish pitch in the mid-60s, a slew of companies—some authorized, some not—spat out machine-autographed beach hats, purses, bracelets, and even hair gel.
Apart from the merchandise, Beatles collectors are often hungry to snag ticket stubs and rare posters, like the one Wes Wilson made for the group’s final live performance on tour at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1966.
Some Beatles collectibles can rake in hefty sales. Two years ago, the long-thought-lost Gibson guitar on which John Lennon co-wrote the first tide of Beatles classics (“She Loves You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “All My Loving”) sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for $2.4 million US. A few weeks earlier, Sotheby's London sold a 1962 contract signed by the Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein for $569,000 US. Time to raid your parents' attic!
Rock All Night
The golden era of rock n' roll gave collectible lovers plenty to get excited about. For Elvis fanatics, mint condition 45s from his Sun Records years are extremely desirable, as well as rarer items from his famously flamboyant wardrobe.
In 2016, Janis Joplin's psychedelic Porsche 356 Cabriolet sold for $1.76 million US at Sotheby’s New York. A decade earlier, Kurt Cobain's iconic mohair cardigan went for $137,500 USand Alice Cooper's old guillotine raked in $32,500 US.
When a musician dies, their memorabilia skyrockets in popularity and price, as you'd expect. In 2016, Prince's jacket from his legendary film Purple Rain sold for $100,000, as we learn here.
Posters Remain Popular
You might think those oh-so-teenage-era posters featuring Jimi Hendrix or Phish will be ho-hum to collectors, but some can be quite valuable. Phish, Pearl Jam and Grateful Dead posters might be attractive to passionate music collectors, especially the work Jim Pollock did for Phish.
Just be sure the poster is in mint condition, and avoid rolling it into tubes in order to keep its shape. Consider investing in lamination or plastic-sheeting if you'll be transporting the precious posters often.
If you don't have albums, Beatles merch or posters, consider that old ukulele passed down from generation to generation in your family. Old instruments, made by companies in short supply especially, could be appealing to music memorabilia enthusiasts.
Flutes are known as one of the world's oldest instruments, dating back 4,000 years ago, so don't discount fringe instruments such as flutes and lutes.
Antique instruments may also come in the form of harmonicas and accordions, which are often associated with German ballads, Cajun tunes, and specific era in American history.
Finally, jukeboxes are barely seen in bars these days, which makes their appearance on a collector's list all that more attractive. Jukeboxes from the 40s and 50s can fetch up to $20,000 each, depending on their condition. 78 RMP versions are also quite rare to find and can be valued much higher than other models.
If you have instruments, music collectibles or other memorabilia you want evaluated by Muzeum's network of collectors, email us anytime for a free estimate!