Kate Middleton rare dress: 'Insignificant yesterday - worth an absolute fortune today'

So, after last weekend's press frenzy the winning bidder in Kerry Taylor Auctions' sale of Kate Middleton's university fashion show dress has finally been revealed.

It turns out that "Nick from Jersey" was none other than Nick Roberts, property magnate and nephew of our interviewee that very same week: the noted Marilyn Monroe collector David Gainsborough Roberts.

We talked with David about how seemingly unimportant items from the past can gain historical significance. And he told us the fascinating story behind Marilyn Monroe's lemon squeezer - today one of the few surviving artefacts from her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller.

Likewise, Charlotte Todd, the friend of Kate's who sewed the dress told Britain's Sun newspaper: "I never would have imagined as I sat knitting this piece that one day it would be so important."

 


The dress worn by Kate Middleton that started it all... and sold for £78,000


Unbeknownst to her, that dress would one day be worn by England's future Queen Catherine as she wooed the future King of England. What's more, Todd reportedly netted £78,000 from last week's sale in London.

It just goes to show, yesterday's innocuous item can be tomorrow's fortune. And examples are everywhere... Take for instance the Bloomington Auction Gallery's recent sale of an old manuscript written by Abraham Lincoln.

The document was obscure to say the least, written before Lincoln became President of the United States. It actually dates to 1846, just a month after he became a congressmen. Nevertheless, its historical significance - and value on today's markets - is assured.

In the end, the Lincoln letter sold for $9,000. And it would be nice to say that the seller deliberately made a shrewd investment. But, in actual fact, they only acquired the document for free in a box that an auctioneer wanted rid of. This makes its final sale value an infinity per cent return.

Charlotte Todd and the seller at Bloomington Auction Gallery each got lucky. Yet here's the great thing: you don't need to reply on pure luck if you want to enjoy similar success at auction. All it takes is knowledge and good judgement...

 


Easy peasy... Marilyn Monroe's lemon squeezer, owned by David Gainsborough Roberts


I've been fortunate to have involved in sales of some "once insignificant" gems during my 35 years of dealing in high end collectibles - with autographs in particular offering a number of great opportunities.

Last year, Paul Fraser Collectibles sold George Washington's earliest autograph from when he was aged just 18. And years ago I had the privilege of selling John Lennon's boyhood stamp album to the Smithsonian (you can even see where Lennon practised his signature inside the album).

Even better, the collectibles markets are constantly throwing up exciting and obscure gems. For instance, how about the upcoming sale of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger's "most important" State Papers? 

They are estimated to make about £13,000-18,000 in total - yet equivalent papers by an historic American politician would sell for many millions. Needless to say, it's worth keeping tabs on this sale.

For obscure gems, you just need to know where to look - and that's where Paul Fraser Collectibles comes in. Watch this space for all the latest news on the best finds on the collectibles markets.

All the best, until next week

 

Paul

 

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