How to Value Film Memorabilia

Film memorabilia refers to objects that possess value due to their connection to Hollywood and cinema.

Film Memorabilia

Cary Grant, Rosalind Russel, Ralph Bellamy

The range of items of that can be found under this category is expansive, featuring anything from costumes, props, scripts, posters, signed items, and much more. With film still being a comparatively recent phenomenon, the film collecting business is not only among the newer sectors of the collecting market, but an extremely lucrative one as well. As movies are perhaps one of the forerunners of our modern day visual culture, it is easy to see why so many are fascinated by anything have to do with them. Do you have an old autograph or prop that you think might have auction value? The following guidelines will be able to help you in your journey towards finding out what your film memorabilia is worth.

Why film memorabilia?

In order to be able to understand why film memorabilia is so popular, one must first look into the world of film and cinema itself. While the advent of film is unclear, many accredit its success and popularization to the Lumière brothers, who publicly screened a series of short films in Paris on December 28, 1895. It wasn’t long after this that film production studios began popping up across the world and the motion picture rapidly evolved from a mere novelty to a multi billion dollar industry. By the 1910’s and onward, people who did no regularly frequent the movie theatre were in the minority, and film became a major component to people’s lives no matter their background. 

Today this phenomenon continues to hold true with modern audiences, with virtually every single person in first world countries and beyond watching dozens of movies per year. Therefore it is only natural that people are transfixed by the physical relics and trophies that come out of films which serve to represent tangible ephemera from a fantasy world; it is this fascination that fuels the film memorabilia sector of the auction industry for so many people.

"Typically the items that will reach the higher hammer prices at auction are those associated with old Hollywood as opposed to new."

What film memorabia is valuable?

As there is such a wide range of objects and paraphernalia that fall under the category of film memorabilia, it can be difficult to gauge whether or not your item qualifies of any value. Typically the items that will reach the higher hammer prices at auction are those associated with old Hollywood as opposed to new. Autographs from recent and still living celebrities, as well as newer unsigned photographs will be worth very little if anything at all, and the same goes for commercial 16mm and 8mm films, and sheet music and records made after 1975. Items that are worth a significant amount are screen worn costumes, annotated scripts, unpublished or candid photos of major film stars, props from classic movies, original art by entertainment celebrities, and more. 

The Wizard of Oz musical poster

Condition & rarity

Among the many influential factors of your film memorabilia’s worth is its condition. No buyer wants to invest in an item that is rendered useless or unattractive by damage sustained over time or poor handling, so it goes without saying that the more like new your item is, the more value it will sustain. However as film memorabilia often features one of a kind objects, some exception for this rule can be made if your item is particularly rare, as ultimately it will be this factor of rarity that will ultimately determine its overall value.

Seeking Appraisal

Objects from historic films have the ability to transport us to a fantasy world of another time, which is likely why collecting movie memorabilia has grown from a niche small scale hobby to a massive business, with millions of dollars being exchanged at big name auction houses. And thus it is important to seek professional consultation when determining an estimated value for your film memorabilia and seek appraisal. Only an expert in the specific field of film memorabilia appraisal and valuation will be able to apply their years of training and experience to find the most accurate estimate as possible. It is good thing that here at Value My Stuff there are such experts available who are ready to lead you in your pursuit of finding the vale of your film memorabilia as soon as today!

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