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In previous columns I offered a top 10 list of antiques and collectibles that are selling well.  Items included early Asian antiques, historical memorabilia and antique paintings by listed artists.  More modern items included comic books, toys, sports memorabilia and advertising signs from the 1960’s and earlier.  Gold coins and jewelry and Sterling silver serving pieces continue to bring strong prices.  There are many other items that are still desirable, but didn’t make our list.  Rock and Roll memorabilia deserves a closer look.

Ringo Starr recently auctioned many items from his personal collection.  His copy of the “White Album” numbered 0000001 had a pre-sale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.  It sold for $790,000.  A Rickenbacker guitar gifted to Starr by John Lennon went for $910,000.  Ringo Starr’s 1963 Ludwig drum kit used to record Beatles classics like “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” brought $2.2 Million dollars.

Having direct ties to the performer greatly affects the value of memorabilia.  Because the items listed above were consigned directly from Ringo Starr, the provenance was impeccable.  “Merriam Webster’ defines provenance as “the history of ownership of a valued object or work of art or literature”.  Other items with great provenance that sold well were Elvis Presley’s first recording which was purchased at auction by rock artist Jack White.  A recently discovered guitar used by John Lennon and George Harrison fetched $2.4 million at auction.

You may not have anything this valuable but there are many other pieces collectors want.  People often ask me about the value of record albums.  The wear on the record and the dust jacket greatly affects the value.  Many records were played over and over by the owner.  Collectors want records that are in fine condition with little wear.  Some of the earliest Beatles albums and other early Rock albums typically bring the strongest prices.  However, there are some 78 rpm Blues albums that can be worth even more than Rock records.  There are different versions of albums and the cover and label can also make a big difference in value. Promotional copies were often distributed to radio stations, reviewers, and others to help get some publicity for a new release.  Gold and platinum records are awards given to artists and others who were involved with the production of records with high sales.  Copies that were presented to the artist and the popularity of the record and the artist factor into values.  An RIAA label on the gold or platinum record means that it was issued by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Eddie Money saxaphone from Rock and Roll collection that brought thousands in our September 2011 auction

Eddie Money saxophone from Rock and Roll collection that brought thousands in our September 2011 auction

Rock and Roll promotional posters aren’t uncommon to find.  Psychedelic designs from the 1960’s advertising popular bands in concert are some of the most valuable.  The artwork from these posters is highly desirable and some sell for thousands.

There are many other pieces that can be desirable.  Contracts, clothing and other personal property can be valuable.  Photos of the celebrity together with the piece that you own can prove that your item was used by them.  Having a great piece of Rock history with the right provenance can send your piece to the top of the charts.

We continue to add more photos of items in our January 28th live antique estates auction.  We often need to run estate sales on short notice to meet client deadlines.  Please keep checking our website for updates, join our email list or follow us on social media to keep updated on upcoming events.

Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services  (508-612- 6111),


Get the maximum value from your sale. Contact Central Mass Auctions today.

Central Mass Auctions

255 Park Ave. Suite # 1000

Worcester, MA 01609

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