'Neil Armstrong, Rosa Parks... For top collectibles, follow the pioneers...'
They made a big difference during their lifetimes - and are still influencing collectors' lives to this day
All the great pioneers can be found in the collectibles markets.
By 'pioneers' I mean those individuals who changed the way the rest of the world looks at things. Sometimes through just a momentary action...
Take Rosa Parks, for instance. You don't need me to tell you the story of December 1, 1955, when Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in downtown Montgomery, Alabama.
Parks wasn't the first person to do this. That was actually student Claudette Colvin in March that same year. But Colvin's pioneering efforts were ignored because she was a teenager, and later became pregnant while unmarried.
Yet Colvin lit the spark and, when 42-year-old Rosa Parks made the same stand months later, there were no excuses. The case went all the way to President Richard Nixon, and the rest is history.
The latest chapter in Rosa Park's history is that a number of collectibles from her life are being auctioned by Guernsey's of New York... and could bring as much as $10m.
And then there was Bruce Lee, whose legacy isn't just limited to movie roles but also to sharing his fighting knowledge and innovations with the world.
As his wife Linda Lee Cadwell later commented: "He had a deep philosophy... He wrote and he influenced so many people on how to change their lives by the work that he did."
Needless to say, Lee was a true pioneer whose influence on mainstream culture is still felt to this day.
Paul Fraser Collectibles had an opportunity to see this first-hand when we acquired a spiral bound notebook containing over 35 pages of Bruce Lee's ideas in his own handwriting.
We sold that item. But the emergence of a letter to Lee's friend Taky Kimura on the markets this week (it's expected to bring £100,000 or $165,000) shows that the martial arts legend continues to enthral collectors.
Another great example is this personal martial arts book, which is currently for sale...
As Lee and Parks are both sadly deceased, more than ever before the onus is on collectors to preserve the legacies of these perennial icons.
And it isn't just late pioneers. How about those who are still with us, but won't be around forever...
Like the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong. This Friday, August 5, he'll be celebrating the 81st year of a life that no-one will ever forget.
Armstrong is already the world's most valuable living signature - it's gone up in value by 981.8% over the last 11 years - and his autographs still appear at affordable prices.
The reason is simple...
With all the greatest pioneers, their autographs and memorabilia immediately become a piece of the world's history and appeal to the entire global market.
For this reason, you can be sure that Armstrong's rare autographs will be less affordable in future years... You should consider buying now, before the values go up.
So, my tip for this week: if you're looking to get your hands on a bona fide piece of history - whether it's Neil Armstrong, Bruce Lee, or Rosa Parks - then follow history's pioneers.
For more advice on how you can benefit from collecting autographs and memorabilia, please get in touch with our experts for a free consultation at:
+44 (0) 117 933 9500
All the best, until next week