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Rare and original movie memorabilia beats traditional markets


Collecting is the new investing � rare and original movie memorabilia beats traditional markets for doubling money and more, says insurer Stackhouse Poland

THE BOOMING alternative investment market of movie memorabilia could see collectors cashing in on a small fortune in years to come, says specialist high net worth insurer Stackhouse Poland as the latest 007 movie provides new opportunities to snap up must-have items.

�Since confidence in traditional investment markets has been so badly shaken, collectibles such as James Bond merchandise and original items are proving to be a more dependable asset class, with values for original movie posters soaring in recent years,� says Stackhouse Poland�s Keith Hester.

�The appeal of all things James Bond never seems to wane so securing a few new items and keeping them in mint condition for a few years could be a very sound financial move.�

Daniel Craig may have been unimpressed with the �moody� doll that was created to mark his first outing as 007 but it could turn out to be a valuable addition to a Bond collection if it�s kept in its original box in top notch condition.

Other items that are worth sourcing are original items of clothing worn by Bond stars, says Hester, although it�s crucial that provenance can be proved if they are to realise their full potential.

But whilst the more obviously valuable items are harder to come by and require an initial investment, there are others that canny collectors would do well to store away should the opportunity arise.

In the United States recently a greetings card signed by an indicted former Bear Sterns hedge fund manager attracted a great deal of interest when put up for auction on ebay. When this was spotted it was taken down, but should someone have been lucky enough to snap if up beforehand they could have acquired a nice little earner for the future.

Vintage and classic film posters, including the original Bond movies starring Sean Connery in particular, remain one of the most lucrative sectors for collectors, says Hester, with prices approaching five figures for Sixties era posters in first class condition (see note 1).

Many have multiplied in value by up to ten times over the past five years, with poster prices typically depending on film title, rarity, condition and nationality.

�Movie posters have become a highly collected commodity in today�s market and reach a wide audience of collectors, movie buffs and even investors the world over,� he says.

One Stackhouse Poland client for example counts the complete collection of original UK posters from the James Bond series as part of his valuable poster collection.

�This particular client bought an original UK Dr No poster - the first in the series - for �2,000 in 2004,� said Hester.

�In March this year a similar copy was sold at Christies, fetching a record �9,000 for the poster. Our client also has an extremely rare copy of the advance poster for From Russia With Love which was only used at the 1964 Leicester Square premiere, currently valued at around �10,000,� he added. A pair of large display posters for Thunderball, used only at the premieres and the only ones known to exist, could be worth between �20-30,000

But as collectors� items increase in value it becomes more and more important that people maintain current and structured insurance policies.

�Regularly updating the estimated value of possessions is crucial, especially in markets where a collection�s value increases dramatically over a short space of time,� Hester said.

�Buying an inappropriate �off the shelf� High Street policy just isn�t right for most serious collectors with valuable items. The cover is restrictive, there are normally prohibitive warranties and most people pay inflated premiums.�

Stackhouse Poland research* (September 2008) also revealed that more than 80 per cent of the UK�s mass affluent � the majority of whom are collectors of some kind � are under insured on average by between 30 and 50 per cent, exposing their prized collections to risk from fire, theft or accidental damage.

�Too many people clearly do not know the value of their possessions, and therefore can often find themselves under-insured as the popularity and prices of these items rise,� he added.

�In the case of classic movie posters, which are soaring in value, many collectors could be sitting on a fortune far greater than their insurance policy limit without even realising it. And the upwards price momentum is likely to continue, fuelled by concerns over stock market volatility and the decline of other traditional asset classes in the face of global economic change.�

By using specialist underwriters, it is possible to provide highly effective cover and service for as little as 0.25% (or �250 for every �100,000 insured) of value for antiques and collectibles, compared to 1% (or �1,000 for every �100,000 insured) of value for general contents. Anyone paying more should seek independent advice, advises Stackhouse Poland.

For the serious collector, who may also have larger than average contents values, wide cover can usually be obtained at a reduced premium.

Not keeping up to date with values can have a devastating effect on the potential payout in the event of a large loss. Stackhouse Poland helps clients ensure that they are properly advised in this area.


* Based on an analysis of a sample of 200 new clients who have had a personal insurance review in 2008, of the one million people in the UK estimated to have a property valued at �400,000 plus and contents at �75,000 plus

Movie posters have become a hot commodity in today's market. Major auction houses such as Christie's and Sotheby's are auctioning movie posters regularly worldwide. The record prices achieved for film posters to date are $690,000 for Metropolis (1927) and $453,000 for The Mummy (1932).

Film poster collecting is exciting and aesthetically pleasurable, combining the better of the two worlds of art and nostalgia of the 20th Century. In essence each is a historical document depicting a change in trends, culture, style, technique, and history to name a few.

Movie posters can be valuable investments as some posters have multiplied tenfold or more in value over a short period of time (5 years). Few categories in the art world have performed as well. For example, an original vintage British poster of the Bond movie Dr. No sells today for up to �10,000, against �100's in the mid nineties.

In very general terms a poster's overall collectability & desirability can be divided into three broad categories. If your poster fits into one or two of these it has merit. If all three, then you've got a winner, most of the time...

CLASSIC FILMS are the easiest category since most people agree on the really great films of all time, and the most popular poster titles are linked quite simply to these.

Most serious collectors seek all timeless classics like King Kong, Casablanca, Metropolis, The Wizard of Oz, and Citizen Kane; due to their rarity these movie posters cost thousands, even then its not that simple since many different styles and nationalities exist.

The 'market' is constantly expanding; today's 'new' buyers are collecting their nostalgia from the 60's and 70's. Films like Breakfast At Tiffany's, The Italian Job, Dirty Harry, Bullitt, and the Bond series are highly sought after, but many posters can still be bought for an affordable price of under �1000.

COLLECTABLE STARS is a tougher category to figure out...

Audrey Hepburn is huge in the poster world but Gina Lollobridgida is not. John Wayne in a Western would be desirable, but put him in a racing car and interest would be lost. Humphrey Bogart probably tops the league for most collected actor, followed today by Steve McQueen. The collectability of Paul Newman posters is likely to rise following his recent sad death.

Really expensive early stars include: Charlie Chaplin, The Marx Brothers, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Bette Davis. Later 50's and 60's favourites include Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Elvis Presley, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, Sean Connery as Bond etc.

In the 70's it�s Clint Eastwood, Michael Caine, Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro. Among directors, Alfred Hitchcock is the star, followed by Woody Allen, Frank Capra, and Tarantino.

GOOD ARTWORK - ultimately 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', but there is some consensus. Certain artists such as Saul Bass, Anselmo Ballester, Roger Soubie, W. Swierzy, Tom Chantrell and Ericole Brini to name a few have produced highly collectable images and designs.

Stackhouse Poland was established in 1974 and is a management-owned, independent company which has a specialisation in private clients who own art, antiques, investment properties, motors (classic and high performance), yachts and other valued possessions. The company tailors inclusive insurance programmes with proven and balance sheet strong insurers. It serves both the corporate and private sectors, as well as being one of the leading advisers to charities in the UK.

For further PR information on Stackhouse Poland please contact Keith Hester at Stackhouse Poland:

keithhester@stackhouse.co.uk 01483 407440

Cathy Tully, Consultant 01273 774109 / 07747 196854

David Andrews Media Ltd


David Andrews, Senior Consultant - Director 01273 774109 / 07941 255855

David Andrews Media Ltd




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