Top 10: Most valuable living signatures
10) Madonna (b.1958)
Madonna’s influence in the world of pop and the world of celebrity is almost unparalleled. She is the most successful female recording artist of all time, as well as an actress, director and business entrepreneur. One of the most powerful women of the 20th century, inspiring to several generations, her legacy will no doubt endure. Experts say that a signed Madonna photograph can currently fetch £950.*
9) Ringo Starr (b.1940)
One of two Beatles still living, drummer Ringo Starr remains a favourite signature among collectors. It is considered that his popularity within the Beatles gave rise to a ‘new paradigm’ in which the public began to consider drummers as equal participants within pop groups and bands. He went on to a successful solo career after the Beatles’ demise. Experts assert that his autograph on a photo is worth £995.*
8) Muhammad Ali (b.1942)
Heavyweight boxing champion and social activist Muhammad Ali is a 1960s cultural icon and somewhat controversial public figure. Considered the most famous athlete in the world, he was also a figurehead of the anti-Vietnam War protestors, and stripped of his boxing titles for refusing the military conscript. He went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship three times. A signed photograph will fetch up to £1,200.* An earlier autograph with the name he was born with, Cassius Clay, is much rarer and can be more valuable.
7) J. K. Rowling (b.1965)
The most popular children’s author of this generation with hundreds of millions of book sales worldwide, J. K. Rowling’s signature has become extremely sought after. A signed copy of one of her books (not a first edition) is said to be worth £1,500.*
6) Tiger Woods (b.1975)
The world’s best golfer and first billionaire sportsman Tiger Woods, despite the infidelity scandal that blighted his appeal, continues to achieve high prices at auction. This is likely due to the fact that he rarely signs autographs for the public. The scarcity maintains the £1,750 price a signed photograph can reach.*
5) Bob Dylan (b.1941)
Bob Dylan is one of the most significant and influential figures in the history of music, but also culture and society. He has remained popular and relevant for five decades, and his legacy will almost certainly continue for decades to come. A signed photograph of Dylan is currently worth up to £1,950.*
4) Paul McCartney (b.1942)
One of the world’s most famous and popular musicians, Sir Paul McCartney of the Beatles has seen the value of his signature continue to rise in the last few years. According to specialists, a signed photograph can now achieve up to £2,000.* In recent years he has announced that he will no longer sign any autographs for fans, or have his photograph taken with them. This decision will inevitably see the value of his signature rise once more.
3) Prince William (b.1982)
Prince William is very much the celebrity Royal of the moment. The future King of England is very popular with the public, more and more so in recent years. This is largely due to his wedding to Catherine Middleton, which attracted millions of viewers worldwide. Recent sales of his autograph have seen examples fetch up to £2,500. He is not allowed to sign autographs to individuals, meaning that one of the most famous and sought-after British personalities is also one of the most difficult to procure.
2) Fidel Castro (b.1926)
Very little memorabilia is available from Cuban communist revolutionary and former president Fidel Castro. He became the most valuable living signature following the death of Neil Armstrong, alongside Nelson Mandela. Experts report that a signed photo sells for up to £2,950.*
1) Nelson Mandela (b.1918)
The first democratically elected president of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist is a living legend, and the winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. His autographs are sought by investors but also by the millions whose lives he affected. The Nelson Mandela Foundation announced in 2010 that Mandela received 4,000 messages asking for his autograph every month. In 2012, following the death of Neil Armstrong, Mandela became the most valuable living signature alongside Fidel Castro. A signed photograph can fetch up to £2,950.*
The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.
Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.
Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.