Madonna (1958 -) is one of the most iconic figures in pop music history.
Known simply as the "Queen of Pop", Madonna is renowned for pushing creative boundaries and the ability to continually reinvent herself as a performer.
Over a career spanning 35 years, Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, making her the world's most successful female artist.
She is also the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time, with ticket sales of more than $1 billion since 1990.
Alongside her music career, Madonna has enjoyed a successful career as an actress, starring in 16 feature films and winning a Golden Globe for her role as Eva Peron in the 1996 musical Evita.
Madonna's music continues to influence generations of female artists, and she remains a cultural icon to millions of fans around the world.
These lyrics for an unreleased song were handwritten by Madonna in blue ballpoint pen.
The 22-line manuscript originate from the personal collection of Darlene Lutz, Madonna's long-time friend who served as her personal art consultant for many years.
The page of lined yellow paper measures 8.5" x 11", and is in good condition.
Paul Fraser Collectibles
Fidel Castro (1926 – 2016) was a Cuban revolutionary and politician who led the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976, and then as President from 1976 to 2008.
Castro was the architect behind the Cuban Revolution in 1959, which overturned the right-wing authoritarian government and turned the nation into a one-party socialist state.
Castro remains one of the most divisive political figures of the 20th century, revered by many as a champion of social justice and anti-imperialism, and hated by others as a brutal dictator.
Prior to his death in November 2016, Castro was listed on the PFC40 Autograph Index as the world's most valuable living signature, with the price of his autograph having risen 16.9% per annum since 2000.
This printed booklet contains the text of a speech by Fidel Castro entitled "Pay tribute to the empire or pay tribute to the motherland".
Castro gave the speech on July 18, 1985, during the final session of the Latin American and Caribbean Workers Trade Union conference in Havana.
The conference was held at the peak of the Latin American debt crisis, which saw many countries crippled by billions of dollars in foreign debts far outweighing their national GDP.
Many delegates, including Castro himself, called for the debts to be cancelled to help the Central American economy to recover.
"I like the total cancellation of the debt more than a mouse would like a ton of Swiss cheese,' said Castro during the conference, and later suggested "the debt will never be paid anyway...it's mathematically impossible".
During the conclusion of his stirring speech, Castro declared:
"I have sometimes been accused of being an optimist. Some companeros remember when we met for the first time, and we were seven guerrilla members carrying rifles...
"I told them: We have won the war. We were only seven men. Some companeros said that out of respect for me, they said nothing, but they disagreed...Anyway, time went by and we won the war. So, do not be afraid to be optimistic. Life has shown me that we must not be afraid to be optimistic.
"I told you that I know this continent, this region of the world can become free and lead the struggle. Today, we are also fully convinced that the workers will also be leaders of this struggle between the different levels and sectors of the population. They will be the vanguard of this struggle."
The booklet is signed boldly by Castro in black ink on the title page, and remains in good condition, with light creasing to the front cover.
Booklet measures 5.5 x 8".
Paul Fraser Collectibles
Frank James (1843 – 1915) was a U.S Civil War Confederate guerrilla and notorious Old West outlaw.
Together with his younger brother Jesse James, he helped established the James-Younger Gang, which robbed banks, trains, and stagecoaches throughout the southern states.
The gang cultivated a reputation as folk heroes, with help from the editor of the Kansas City Times, who published Jesse James' letters and proclaimed him to be a modern-day Robin Hood.
The gang's spree of robberies and murder lasted from 1866 until 1876, when several members were killed or captured during a disastrous raid on the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota.
Frank James retired from his life of crime soon after, but his brother Jesse struggled to adapt to normal life, and formed a new gang which continued to operate for several years.
Following the murder of Jesse by fellow gang member Robert Ford in 1882, Frank James feared for his own life and surrendered to the authorities, stating:
"I have been hunted for twenty-one years, have literally lived in the saddle, have never known a day of perfect peace. It was one long, anxious, inexorable, eternal vigil."
He was tried for his roles in two robberies/murders in Missouri and Alabama, and was acquitted in both cases, before returning to Oklahoma to live with his family.
For the next 30 years Frank James held a variety of jobs, including a shoe salesman, an AT&T telegraph operator and even a ticket taker in a burlesque theatre.
He also gave public lectures on the Old West, invested in Buckskin Bill's Wild West Show, and gave tours of the James family farm, where he eventually passed away in 1915 at the age of 72.
The story of how Frank James first met Ann Ralston remains somewhat of a mystery.
She was the highly-educated daughter of a wealthy businessman, and was working as a teacher when she suddenly eloped with James in the summer of 1875.
Her parents received a letter which read simply "Dear Mother: I am married and going West. Annie Reynolds", and were distraught at her disappearance.
It wasn't until several months later that they discovered their new son-in-law was one of the country's most wanted men.
In 1876 Ann's father arranged for a New York newspaper article about the marriage, to ensure his family was not linked to the criminal gang
"The James brothers, who are, with the Younger boys, creating so much stir just now, have had a love scrape, or at least one of them has. But this love affair is different from all other love affairs. No one who knows anything of the career of the James brothers would expect them to woo, win and marry like other people...
"Mr. Ralston has had no connection or communication with the train robbers whatever. His daughter he has not seen since she left home, a year and one month ago.
"If she is alive she will not write home, lest her letters should guide the officers to her husband's retreat. If she was dead Frank James would have notified her parents. So they can only rest patiently in the uncertainty of perhaps seeing their daughter again."
Ralston never returned home, but despite the dramatic nature of their courtship and Frank's life of crime, they maintained a happy and stable marriage.
They had a son, Robert Franklin James, and following Frank's surrender and subsequent acquittal for murder in 1883, they remained together until his death in 1915.
Ann Ralston James lived out the rest of her days on the James family farm, before passing away in 1944, and the couple's ashes were buried together at Hill Park Cemetery in Jackson County, Missouri.
The letter, dated July 7, 1883, was written by James to his wife whilst incarcerated in jail in Gallatin, Missouri.
He was awaiting trial for murder and robbery of the Rock Island Line train at Winston, Missouri, in which the train engineer William Westfall and a passenger Frank McMillan were killed.
Having spent a year in custody, James' trial began on August 20, and lasted just three days, before the jury returned a resounding verdict of 'not guilty'.
The tender love letter reveals James to be both highly romantic and highly literate.
Although he lived much of his life as a violent outlaw, he had been raised as a preacher's son surrounded by books, and during his youth developed a love for the works of Shakespeare.
James was said to always carry a book in his saddle bag, even when he was on the run from the law, and he shared this passion for literature with Ann throughout their 40-year marriage.
He writes, in part:
"If there is anything on Earth that is half as dear to me as my wife I have failed to find it. You are everything to me and the only living human being that has ever possessed my whole love, my entire confidence and the only one that ever will and I feel as that love and confidence will never be abused.
"I have lived as I think to see my fondest hopes realised. Long years ago I hoped and prayed that God would give me a true woman for my wife and I feel as he has done."
James signs the letter as 'Ben', a protective alias that he used when writing to his loved ones.
The single page letter, with text on both sides, measures 203 by 126mm, with fold creases and bleeding of ink in some sections.
A remarkable piece of history, which offers a personal insight into one of the Old West's most legendary figures.
Paul fraser collectibles
Unpublished illustrations and writings by J.K. Rowling are incredibly rare and offer a wonderful insight into the creative mind behind Harry Potter.
This horoscope provides a fascinating example of Rowling's prose.
On white paper, with double-sided typescript on yellow card providing a detailed interpretative reading, including of the sun sign, ascendant, ruling planets, significant conjunctions and oppositions, and their effect on character, personal strengths, possible careers, emotional and erotic characteristics, and compatibility with other signs, and a cover illustration depicting the chart's key astrological symbols in pen, ink, and coloured pencil laid down on bright blue coloured card.
Comprising 12 loose pages in a plastic folder. In excellent, mint condition.
"Born the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces. He will enjoy school, perhaps be accident-prone, (like all Pisces) could be prone to alcoholism, and (perhaps like us all) may well fall in love with someone totally incompatible.
The chart apparently suggests that the boy will have great literary talent ("...the planet of fantasy and imagination meets a sign frequently associated with bookishness...")
Rowling wonders whether his "ability to weave a good yarn" could perhaps bring fame and fortune, before deciding that becoming a film director would better suit his talents.
Apparently wishing for some small slice of fame for herself, J.K. Rowling wonders if the boy would perhaps at least mention her in his Oscar acceptance speech ("...This peculiar woman my mother knows predicted I would be standing before you today ... of course, my parents laughed at the time...") ...Human destiny may be deciphered by the planetary rays... (Professor Trelawny)
It is possible to detect in this short piece some of the characteristics that were shortly to bring Rowling's prose such extraordinary success: a great and varied sense of humour, flights of fancy underpinned by an internal logic, and - of course - a mingling of the everyday world with the strange and magical.
The horoscopes show Rowling to have a detailed technical knowledge of Western astrology.
She is at ease explaining the significance of having one's Moon in the First House but peppers her interpretations with quotations and wryly amusing comparisons.
In general the astrologers that she cites tend to be popular rather than academic.
Rowling's knowledge of astrology has undoubtedly played into the Harry Potter books.
Harry himself is a Leo (sharing his birthday with J.K. Rowling herself), whilst the meticulous worrier Hermione is naturally a Virgo.
An important influence on Harry in the first book is Firenze the centaur, a star-gazer who helps and teaches him before his first encounter with Voldemort.
Sybill Trelawney, Professor of Divination, makes an appearance in later books; she is considered by many a fraud (and is a fine satire of New Age fortune tellers) but her predictions frequently come true in unexpected ways.
On a deeper level, an issue that goes to the heart of astrology is the apparent conflict between free will and fate, and this is one of the central themes of the Harry Potter series.
NB: Please note copyright remains with J.K. Rowling and no permission is granted for reproduction
Paul Fraser Collectibles
J.K Rowling (1965 -) is an English author, screenwriter, producer and philanthropist.
Rowling is the creator of the Harry Potter series of children's novels, which to date has sold a record 400 million copies worldwide.
The seven best-selling books also spawned a series of blockbuster Hollywood movies, video games, several theme park attractions, and an empire of merchandise worth an estimated $25 billion.
Aside from her literary career, Rowling has also been praised for her philanthropic work, and has raised tens of millions for good causes including Comic Relief and her own children's charity Lumos.
J.K Rowling's fascination with astrology can be seen throughout the Harry Potter series of books, in characters such as Professor of Divination Sybill Trelawney and Firenze the star-gazing centaur.
Whilst writing her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Rowling also produced highly detailed personal horoscopes for some of her friends.
This horoscope was written for Roger Julian Tosswill, who Rowling first met along with his partner Kate Buchanan during ante natal classes.
Rowling also wrote a similarly detailed horoscope for their newborn son Jack Buchanan, which we are able to offer for sale here.
Tosswill is a Libra, born October 13, 1966 at 11.05pm, and the horoscope covers his personality traits, relationships, potential careers and compatibility with his partner.
The close relationship Rowling shared with the family is evident throughout the horoscope.
When comparing the couple, she writes: "I should say at the outset that these two horoscopes (Roger and Kate) could have come straight out of an astrological text-book, captioned 'compatible partners'."
And in reference to young Jack Buchanan, she writes: "The words 'isn't he like his father?' are likely to be repeated with tiresome regularity throughout Jack's childhood."
Throughout the 12 page document Rowling displays a strong knowledge of astrology, referencing texts such as the influential 15th century French work 'The Kalendar and Compost of Shepherds'.
The strength and humour of her writing also clearly shines through, particularly during a passage in which she images the couple escaping from international terrorists, using hand grenades made from Coke cans and Semtex "weaselled out of a guard who was no match for his Machiavellian Mars".
The 12-page folio document features Rowling's cover illustration in pen, ink and coloured pencil, mounted on a sheet of blue card.
The horoscope is a double-sided typescript on yellow card, and the astrological chart is printed on white paper with annotations in Rowling's hand, laminated with a sheet of plastic.
The entire document is hole-punched, and bound together with gold and silver ribbons.
Two of the pages feature small tears around the hole punches, and the cover displays signs of wear around the edges.
A unique document, written and illustrated by the world's most successful living author.
NB: Please note copyright remains with J.K. Rowling and no permission is granted for reproduction