Have you recently inherited or purchased entertainment or film memorabilia and want to know its value? Mearto provides quick and affordable online appraisals of entertainment and film memorabilia. All you have to do is click on the “Start Appraisal” button above and follow the steps to send us information about and images of your entertainment or film memorabilia. One of our qualified and experienced specialists will review and get back to you with a fair market and insurance value, typically within 48 hours. Have questions about the valuation provided, or would you like some advice about selling your entertainment or film memorabilia? We are here to help! Our platform allows you to chat back and forth with a specialist to ensure that all of your questions are answered.
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Answer a few simple questions and upload images of your item.
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Film and entertainment memorabilia are very collectible and can draw high prices at auction. Entertainment memorabilia may include tickets, posters, albums, music scores, instruments, autographs, costumes and more.
Most entertainment events, whether theater, film or music, involve the production of items like advertising posters, tickets and playbills, programs, costumes, contracts and scripts. All of these may be valuable depending on their rarity, condition and other factors. Collectors have preserved vintage playbills, posters, and ticket stubs from theater and musical performances as far back as the 1800s.
When the film business began, items that may be considered valuable today were not recognized as such. Props, costumes, scripts and other objects were often disposed of or disappeared. Some people collected celebrity autographs, photographs or advertising posters. Film memorabilia collecting became more popular over time and blossomed in the 1970s, when the movie industry realized there could be significant resale value attached to items used in a film production. In 1970, MGM auctioned off their enormous collection of costumes, props, and more. This was the most significant auction event in the film industry up until that time and people began to take note of the value of collecting these items.
Film and entertainment memorabilia may be classified by era and type of item. One category of entertainment memorabilia is paper items. This includes posters, tickets, programs, playbills, scripts, scores, contracts and photographs. Sometimes these items have been autographed by performers or producers, which raises their value. Another type of entertainment memorabilia is props and costumes. These can vary greatly, covering a wide range of types of items.
Entertainment memorabilia may be classified by decade or genre. For example, some categories may include 1960s science fiction movie props and costumes or 1940s film noir posters.
MGM’s 1970 auction included several rare and valuable items. A pair of Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz (of which there are five known pairs) went for $15,000. This price was unheard of at the time for film memorabilia. However, in 2012, another pair of the slippers went for $2 million!
The Beatles first recording contract, signed by all four members (along with George Harrison and Paul McCartney’s fathers!) in 1962, sold for $426,478 in 2008.
The most expensive movie prop ever sold was Robby the Robot from the 1956 film Forbidden Planet. It brought $5.37 million at Bonham’s in 2017. The second most expensive movie prop sold at auction was the Aston Martin DB5 driven by Sean Connery as James Bond in the 1964 film Goldfinger. It went for $4.6 million.
In the world of costumes, the iconic white “subway dress” worn (and held down against a gust of air) by Marilyn Monroe in the film The Seven Year Itch was sold for an astonishing $4.6 million in 2011.
The most expensive script ever sold was Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Tiffany & Co. bought it in 2017 for $846,619.
Film and entertainment memorabilia are valued according to many factors. These include condition, provenance, era, genre, and type of item.
It is important that the item has been kept in good condition. Costumes and props may be delicate and need to be kept clean and away from mold and sunlight. Paper goods such as scripts, photographs or playbills should also be clean and kept in archival and acid-free storage boxes or sleeves if possible.
The value of an item will vary based on its source. Items from a well-known movie or concert or associated with a famous actor or artist will have a much higher value. The type of item will also make a difference in its value. Since entertainment and film memorabilia can come in so many forms, their valuation will depend on many different factors, and it may be especially complex to determine a fair market value. Getting an online appraisal by a Mearto specialist is key to estimating the price you can expect for your item.
Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.