Memorabilia items linked to the likes of George Washington, Michael Jackson and even the Pope often sell for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands at auction.
Fortunately, if you're an entry-level investor looking for a bargain appreciable alternative asset, a new website is offering what may be the perfect collectibles for you...
www.asmallpieceofhistory.com describes itself as "the home of truly rare pieces of history... at affordable prices" and features memorabilia linked to the likes of Elvis, Michael Jackson, George Washington and Sir Paul McCartney.
A carpet walked upon by Pope
Many of the collectibles on the site are priced at less than £50. According to A Small Piece of History, its offerings: "provide you with a valuable gateway to history, and a great investment opportunity." Although the nature of some of the items may surprise some people...
For instance, the website's Paul McCartney item isn't an autograph, a stage worn costume or even a signed guitar. Instead, they're offering a piece of the ex-Beatle's hair...
Some may find this bizarre. But, in actual fact, collecting celebrity hair goes back to the Victorian era. Back then, your favourite celebrity wouldn't have given you their autograph. Instead, if you were lucky, they would have given you a lock of their hair.
Memorabilia of George Washington, Marilyn Monroe, Paul McCartney
Endorsers of celebrity hair include Harry Rubenstein, a curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, who once commented: "More so than an autograph, it was a sign of affection."
Paul McCartney's former Beatles colleague John Lennon was among those who acknowledge the collectibilty of famous people's hair. In the late-1960s, he and wife Yoko Ono donated a bag of their hair to be auctioned for the benefit a London Black Power commune.
John and Yoko were on to something: there can be serious value in the locks which once sprouted from the hairs of the famous and historically-important.
Celebrity hair can have greater
For instance, while A Small Piece of History is offering George Washington's hair for £50, a clump of hair from the head of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara sold for $100,000 (£68,000) in October 2007.
A single strand of Elvis Presley's hair sold for £1,055 at auction in November 2009; while locks from the King of Rock 'n' Roll's famous quiff have elsewhere brought $115,000 (nearly £71,340).
Many of the hairs also boast a remarkable provenance - including a hair from the head of Michael Jackson, found after his notorious accident on the set of a Pepsi commercial in 1984 when the singer's head caught fire during filming.
Aside from pieces of hair, other items include a piece of the Union Jack flag from HMS Victory wrapped about Nelson after his death at the Battle of Waterloo, and a small piece of carpet once walked upon by Pope Benedict XVI.
As A Small Piece of History continues its mission to bring "ownership of history to the masses" and allow non-wealthy buyers to "connect with amazing events and people throughout time," the company’s celebrity hair sales could prove to be the forefront on a very profitable asset class.
While celebrity is easily one of the most unusual alternative assets on today's collectibles markets, it could also be one of the most valuable - not to mention an excellent source for Christmas presents.
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