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A dedicated home for music memorabilia, exploring the past, present and future of music archives. Find your own piece of the story.

Meet the experts : Autograph Collecting

For over twenty-eight years, Wallace & Hodgson have worked around the world on all aspects of buying, selling and collecting rock & roll and film memorabilia. Honing their craft together at Christies, the pair perform valuations, research and cataloguing, advising on the purchase, sale and maintenance of collections; with clients including international artists, major auction houses, corporations, institutions and collectors. Here, in their first in a series of collaborations with MAG_BTM, they share an insider’s guide to autograph collecting.

“Whatever you’re collecting autographs, art, or artifacts, it’s always a good idea to try and find the best example you can afford to buy; and if you’re passionate, intrigued or at least interested in the subject, all the better. Buy it because you like it, and not just as an investment. The best return you can have on anything is the enjoyment you get from seeking it out and owning it,” explains Carey Wallace.

“I personally own a set of John Lennon and Yoko Ono autographs, a fine example of some of the pitfalls and benefits of collecting. The signatures have great provenance, executed on a baking tin and wooden spoon, obtained by the original vendor at an evening of John and Yoko films at the I.C.A. in September 1969, where they were handed to the audience to encourage their participation. 

The tin and spoon were each signed John Lennon, 1969 in blue felt pen and Yoko Ono ’69 in black. The ink of the blue pen Lennon used is not indelible, whereas the black pen Yoko used was. I recall when I acquired the autographs almost 20 years after they were signed, the blue ink of John’s signature had already significantly faded. Now, 23 years on from then, Lennon’s signature is a mere ghost of itself, whereas Yoko’s has, for the most part, held up well.

Despite my John Lennon signature being near invisible, I take great pleasure in looking at the tin and spoon which I have framed and displayed on the wall of my kitchen. Knowing that they took part in an avant-garde event in 1969 and have been touched by the hand of greatness gives me a secret thrill!”