The Fame Bureau (Memorabilia auction house)



2015-06-26 10:52:05

The Fame Bureau is a U.K auction house specialising in music memorabilia.

Company history

The Fame Bureau was founded by Ted Owen and James Wilkinson. Ted Owen has previously worked as head of Entertainment at Phillips and at Bonhams and highlights of his career include organising the first ever all-Elvis auction and being involved in the first usage of live internet bidding via satellite during a Beatles auction.

James Wilkinson began work as an investment banker before becoming a pop artist. He is known for his charity work and was also, in 2010 made a resident artist at Hylands House in Chelmsford.

The Fame Bureau have also been responsible for several charity auctions; the most recent of which was an online auction held in August 2011 entitled 'Music Aid for Joplin' in which the proceeds from designated item lots went towards aiding victims of the Joplin, Missouri tornado.

The Fame Bureau website can be found here:

Services and expertise

The Fame Bureau are a pioneering auctions service,having utilised the growing trend in online televisual communications by producing a pilot show documenting the process of authenticating and selling rock memorabilia, some parts of which can be found on the YouTube channel. They are also working on a show for terrestrial television named 'FBI' (Fame Bureau Investigates.)

In addition to their physical auctions, the Fame Bureau have an eBay store where bidders can view items and bid – both in competitive auctions or purchasing outright with 'buy it now' prices. They also sell via Bids are generally in 10% increments. Items can often be previewed at their outlet at the Within Art and Framing Centre in Essex and requests to view certain pieces can be made through email. Sellers commission is charged at 17.5% of the hammer price.

The Fame Bureau have also hosted auction experiences such as the upcoming 'It's More Than Rock 'n' Roll' to be hosted in November 2011. As well as the auction itself these experience provide live music, dancing and a champagne reception.


The Fame Bureau specialise in all forms of music and entertainment memorabilia and currently have departments specialising in Hendrix, The Beatles, The Who and Elvis Presley. They are also active in selling items relating to motor sports.

Notable sales

Highlights from the May 2011 auction include:

  • Paul McCartney piano on which 'Yesterday' was performed for the first time – sold for $231,000
  • Beatles first recording contract – sold for $108,000
  • John Lennon banner – sold for $460,000

From April, 2011

  • Beatles drum skin – sold for $95,000

From December 2010

  • Sid Vicious chain with padlock – sold for $23,000
  • Hendrix guitar sold live on the BBC for $580,000

From 2008,

  • Jimi Hendrix guitar – the first to be torched on stage sold for £280,000 (UK pounds) (approx. $447,000)
  • jim morrison collectibles and memorabilia | Jim Morrison]]] notebook featuring lyrics and poetry – sold for £58,000 (approx. $92,000)
  • Guitar owned by Elvis Presley – sold for £26,000 (approx. $147,000)

From June 2007

McCartney Hofner left-handed guitar, given to the Beatles' original tour manager Mal Evans – sold for $19,200


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