Welcome to the Month of November
Every November we go to the polls to exercise our constitutional right to affirm, adjust, or repeal the people, parties, and ideals that define our democracy and protect our individual rights.
For collectors of political and presidential memorabilia, the history of our democracy can be found in everything from pamphlets, cartoons, autographs and letters to buttons, posters, photographs, bumper stickers, advertising, banners, magazine articles… While collections are typically rooted in candidates, political parties, and campaigns, and the accompanying ephemera, advertising, and documentation left behind as an historical record, collectors will tell you their hobby has more to do with a love of politics and history than showcasing their personal affiliations and sentiments.
Collecting political and presidential memorabilia can be a fun, accessible, and affordable hobby for start-up collectors with a general interest in history and politics. I just read an article that said eBay offers some 60,000 political lots every day so there is certainly a lot of collectible material to choose from; however, collectors need to be discerning and on the lookout for reproductions and misrepresentations that plague many collector categories this popular and available. The best place to learn about what to collect and do business with reputable dealers is at paper, ephemera, and Antiquarian book shows such as those put on by Hillcrest Promotions, Flamingo Eventz, Allentown Paper Shows and New England Antique Shows.
As with any hobby, there is also an investment-grade level of presidential and political memorabilia for the 401K Collector. Investing in key historical documents such as letters written by a sitting president on matters of state, and items with a proven provenance to a key political figure or historic event, can yield a strong Return on Investment – but like the country, values and interest in political and presidential figures in particular can shift over time with the political climate.
In this issue we have two interesting articles by noted authorities and collectors in this field, offering advice to novice and serious collectors, alike. Many of you may recognize Dana Linett’s name from the TV show Pawn Stars on The History Channel. As president of Early American History Auctions, Inc., he is often brought in to authenticate and value presidential and historical items that come into the shop.
November is also a key month for movie premiers, as movie studios and theatre owners prepare for the lucrative Thanksgiving through Christmas movie-going season. In addition to an anticipated sequel to The Hunger Games franchise, and the new The Peanuts Movie, adapted from Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip, November will also bring the premiere of the new James Bond movie, Spectre, starring Daniel Craig as Agent 007.
Movie/Hollywood collections, like political and presidential collections, can run wide and deep – from toys and collectibles, to costumes, movie posters, items used in or associated with a movie, production equipment, scripts, autographs, photographs… Here again, it is the collector’s passion for cinema history or a particular movie, movie star, or franchise that drives their interest and investment in the hobby.
Spectre is the 24th James Bond movie produced in what is arguably one of the longest running and most valuable movie franchises in cinema history. Like others, it has a loyal and passionate fan and collector base, many of which are willing to shell out big money to own a piece of Bond movie history. In 2012, Christie’s “50-Years of James Bond” auction brought in $1,214,448 for various charitable foundations with such items as an Aston Martin DBS, used by Daniel Craig as James Bond in Quantum Of Solace, and a two-piece dinner suit in navy wool by Tom Ford, worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall. In 2014, an “Icons & Idols” auction at Julien’s Auctions brought in $16,250 for a chair from You Only Live Twice, and $3,840 for an original 30×40î Goldfinger movie poster.
Movie posters are fun and popular to collect for their art and the nostalgia they evoke, but they can also be serious investments, as we read in this month’s feature article, “Inside The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Movie Posters” written by Amanda Sheriff.
Whether you’re a movie fan, a political junkie, or a history lover, November is the month for Premieres & Politics!
Maxine Carter-Lome, Publisher
Publisher’s Corner: November 2015