This weekend in Dallas, a very special piece of wall goes up for auction.
It's the movable backdrop from the Beatles' historic first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, 50 years ago this year.
What's more, each of the Fab Four signed it before going on stage.
It ticks all the boxes I look for in a high-end investment-grade collectible. It's from a world famous event, it's absolutely unique, it's still in good condition and it has superb provenance. Furthermore, the Beatles signed at the time, not at a later date.
No wonder it's estimated to make $1m.
Even at that price, I'm confident the new owner will have themselves a nice long-term investment.
Can you invest in collectibles without breaking the bank?
Yet what if you don't have a spare $1m in the kitty? Is it still possible to invest in the Beatles with more modest means?
You bet. In fact, the Beatles are something of an outlier in the collectibles industry.
I'm often asked how much you need to spend on a collectible for it to have a chance of being a decent investment. The figure I give is £3,000 ($5,000) per item. This, of course, is a generalisation. But for that money you should be able to pick up, for example, a rare autograph in great condition, a scarce stamp, or an unusual piece of presidential memorabilia.
Pay any less, and chances are the item you're purchasing is not sufficiently rare or desirable to have a strong chance of gaining much in value over the coming years.
But I break my golden rule with the Beatles.
A bona fide investment for under £1,000
Their unique status as the most famous band to ever walk the planet means we have to apply different rules to them.
You see, with the exception of John, you can own autographs of individual Beatles for less - often much less - than my £3,000 benchmark figure.
· In fact, this Paul McCartney signed photo could be yours right now for just £1,000 ($1,680).
· While this Ringo autographed photograph has a mere £750 price tag ($1,250).
When these two guys are no longer around, when the supply of their memorabilia is capped for all time and collectors around the world grow nostalgic for two of the most famous names in recent history…
…values for their autographs will soar.
We've already seen it with the passing of George Harrison in 2001. His signed photos, which were valued at £195 ($325) in 2000, are now worth £2,950 ($4,950) according to the PFC40 Autograph Index - that's growth of 23.2% a year.
The death of a famous name will often increase values for their memorabilia. Yet when we're talking the Beatles, you can times the effect by two.
Which is why Paul and Ringo's signatures look seriously undervalued to me right now.
So, if you're looking for that greatest of rarities - a true collectible investment for £1,000 or less, I encourage you to consider the two remaining Beatles for your portfolio.
Thanks for reading,
PS. Collectibles pub quiz: Which is the only Beatles album solely written by Lennon-McCartney?