Celebrities boost auction sale totals - both on and off the saleblock... Here's how'


This week's Paul Fraser Collectibles newsletter is a bit of a 'celebrity-studded' special.

First came UK rapper Tinie Tempah's purchase of a limited edition pair of sneekers modelled on those worn by Marty McFly (played by Michael J Fox) in the time travel movie classic Back to the Future Part II.

Tempah paid $37,500 for his trainers (the 22-year-old would have only just been born around the time of the film's original 1989 release).


Coppola's Inglewood wine
All proceeds went to charity, and also won the star some publicity outside his native UK.

Hot on Tinie Tempah's heels was the legendary film director Francis Ford Coppola, the man behind the Godfather trilogy, Apocalypse Now and other classics.

Only it wasn't movie memorabilia in Mr Coppola's case, but instead fine wines from the Inglenook estate in the Napa Valley.

Since purchasing the property in 1975, Coppola has tirelessly reconstructed and restored the estate to its former glory. The sale of his wines contributed significantly to Christie's $1.8m auction total.

Elsewhere, Hollywood A-listers like Jennifer Aniston turned out in support for comedian Ben Stiller's $13.6m charity auction for Haiti, featuring rare artworks by Marlene Dumas and Luc Tuymans.

And finally there was an icon of the swinging '60s: none other than Astrid Kirchherr.

Ms Kirchherr aimed to sell a collection of photographs that not only chronicled her own rise to prominence as a photographer but also The Beatles.

Her photographs of The Beatles during their early days of gigging in Hamburg, Germany, are - to put it mildly - utterly remarkable.

They capture The Beatles (including drummer Pete Best and bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, with whom Astrid would embark on a relationship) before they were famous.

Just look at those early shots of Lennon and McCartney and the sense of destiny is electrifying.

It is therefore perhaps of no surprise that Ms Kirchherr's collection never made it to the auction block. A mystery buyer stepped in to buy the collection prior to the sale.

This is great news in that the photographs will remain together (the new owner also controls their copyright and now bears sole rights to these historic documents of The Beatles' Hamburg days).

But this also raises unanswered questions as to who the mystery buyer is. And people haven't wasted any time in guessing...

Not surprisingly, most people's first guess was Sir Paul McCartney. Or perhaps it was Yoko? Or maybe even Apple founder Steve Jobs, himself a massive Beatles fan with money to spend?

One thing's for sure, it would of absolutely no surprise whatsoever if the anonymous buyer of Astrid's photographs turned out to be famous.

And you can bet that there'll be plenty of action for celebrity collectors, following in the footsteps of Ben Stiller, Francis Ford Coppola and Tinie Tempah, in coming months.


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