News-Antique.com - Oct 13,2015 - James Dean has the most expensive autograph of any dead or living celebrity, reveals the 2015 edition of the PFC40 Autograph Index, released today.
Signed photos of the Rebel Without a Cause star are worth £18,000 in top condition, the study found. Dean's autograph is rare. He died aged just 24.
Film star Bruce Lee is in second place at £11,000, with military hero Lord Nelson in third at £10,500.
Fidel Castro has the most valuable autograph among the living, at £3,950. A lifetime of close security has ensured his autograph is scarce. The Cuban dictator is ahead of Prince William and Paul McCartney, who share second place at £2,500.
The 10 most expensive "living" signatures (signed photos unless otherwise stated)
Fidel Castro: £3,950
Paul McCartney: £2,500
Prince William (album page): £2,500
JK Rowling: £1,950
Muhammad Ali: £1,950
Ringo Starr: £1,250
Prince Harry (album page): £600
Barack Obama: £350
Pope Francis: £175
The 10 most expensive "dead" autographs
James Dean: £18,000
Bruce Lee (album page): £11,000
Lord Nelson (handwritten letter): £10,500
Princess Diana: £9,500
Albert Einstein: £8,950
Neil Armstrong: £8,500
John F Kennedy: £7,950
Winston Churchill: £7,500
Marilyn Monroe (album page): £6,950
John Lennon (album page): £6,950
Vladimir Putin has the best performing signature over the past 12 months – up 25% from £100 to £125, although Barack Obama's is worth more (£350).
The best performing autograph since 2000 is Beatle George Harrison's – up 1823.1% from £195 in 2000 to £3,750 today.
Princess Diana signed photos are worth £9,500.
Photos signed by all four Beatles are the most valuable item on the PFC40, at £28,000.
The PFC40 has increased in value by 479.4%, or 12.4% per annum, since 2000.
Dan Wade, head writer at JustCollecting, comments: “James Dean's autograph is rare - he died aged just 24. That means he signed his name far fewer times than if he had lived to 80. And he only became famous in the six months before his death – so he didn't sign many times for fans at all.
"Scarcity is also the reason why Fidel Castro is the most valuable living signer. Security around Castro has been tight ever since the first assassination attempts on him in the early 1960s. Approach him with your autograph book out and you'll quickly find yourself surrounded by some burly looking fellows.
"Whatever you think about Vladimir Putin's politics, there's no denying he's cementing his name in history. It's one reason why his signature has risen by 25% over the past 12 months."
Best performing autographs between 2014 and 2015
Vladimir Putin: Up 25% to £125
Charles Dickens: Up 20.2% to £5,950
Prince Harry: Up 20.0% to £600
Pope Francis: Up 16.7% to £175
Nelson Mandela: Up 13.9% to £4,500
Best performing autographs between 2000 and 2015
George Harrison: Up 1823.1% to £3,750
Neil Armstrong: Up 1445.40% to £8,500
Andy Warhol: Up 1412.8% to £2,950
Paul McCartney: Up 1,328.6% to £2,500
Fidel Castro: Up 1115.4% to £3,950