From signed material, instruments, props and costume, scripts, original artwork, even advertising and posters, all may appear in our memorabilia auctions. Even the humble comic book can turn up a surprise. Alongside all of this comes the merchandise and the emergence of the collectable action figure.
We host three auctions a year dedicated to Toys, Model Railways, and Memorabilia, typically in February, June, and November. The auctions can be viewed at our saleroom in Leicestershire, with easy transport links via road and rail. If buyers are unable to attend the auction, they can bid online, via the telephone, or leave an absentee bid.
If you would like to be kept informed of our Toys, Model Trains, and Memorabilia auctions, sign-up to our dedicated newsletter. We’ll alert you to upcoming auctions, consignment closing dates, and other related news and valuation days. Or if you’re looking for something specific, create an account and set up a Lot Alert - we’ll send you a notification of anything meeting your criteria coming up for auction with us.
If you have memorabilia that you would like valued for auction it couldn’t be easier. You can submit an enquiry via our Valuations Form where you can upload images and details of your items. From these images, our Specialist will be able to give an initial guide into likely auction value of your item. You can share multiple files by emailing our Specialist directly, or alternatively book an appointment to see us in person. For larger collections and items, a home visit may be arranged.
As with any valuation, certain factors will be vital in determining a more accurate and realistic auction estimate. The condition of an item is especially important to dedicated memorabilia collectors. Not until our Specialist has seen an item in person would the final auction advice be agreed.
Gildings can also provide professional valuations of memorabilia for insurance or probate purposes. As a professional valuation there would be a charge for this service. Please contact us to discuss further.
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The area of the biggest growth in recent years comes from television and film merchandise from classic 1970s and ‘80s shows, often in the form of action figures. Action Man, Lone Ranger, Rambo, and of course the iconic Star Wars figures are now a big collectors market and feature prominently in memorabilia auctions. Demand for other figures such as Thundercats, He-Man, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is also growing.
There is good demand for movie and television props at auction. As with most memorabilia, provenance (or history) is absolutely key. If a film or TV studio is selling off props or costumes, they will usually come with something stating their authenticity and perhaps some details as to when or what film/ episode the item was used in. It is critically important for this information to be retained along with any purchase receipt. Some material of this nature was possibly obtained before such "certificates of authenticity" were produced, in which case the provenance has to be very solid, e.g. from the collection of..., or won as a prize from...; or the information has to be openly available to the public, e.g. past auction records. Without this evidence, buyers will be very cautious when considering bidding.
Likewise, animation art cels are a very popular medium for collectors who enjoy film. Early Disney animation cels, such as from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, have sold very well in recent auctions. The price can vary depending on the characters depicted and the movie it was featured in. Again, provenance has to be submitted for authentification.
Another huge area of collecting and investment in recent years, the artwork behind cinematic blockbusters is highly prized. Original posters from some of the iconic films of the 20th and 21st century can sell for serious money at auction. In some cases, the film's artwork has become more iconic than the film itself! The market is split into UK and US one-sheets, British quads, Foreign film - such as European cinema, or Hollywood productions in native languages, and the much smaller lobby cards. Condition is highly important, as is making sure it truly is an original and not a later reprint. After all, such posters have been popular on teenagers' walls for decades and so have been reprinted. But there are a whole host of buyers now, and not just teenagers. They range from the serious collector who may focus on certain studios, actors, or film franchises, to individuals looking for a unique gift - the poster for your loved one's favourite movie, for instance. Arguably the most desirable would include classic British films, such as the Alfred Hitchcock titles, or the biggest franchises of them all - James Bond, and Star Wars. They don't have to be old either! Some people are buying 21st-century posters now as an investment.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, if movie posters are well sought after, posters relating to music album releases and gigs are equally popular. As with any music memorabilia at auction, the demand for an item is driven by the bidder's nostalgia - their favourite band, their first gig, their first album. Perhaps pivotal moments of a person's life, and now they have the chance to own artwork or a graphic linking back to that memory. From the 1960s, with rock and pop genres, the album artwork becomes crucial, and bands and labels put in a lot of money to get top designers and artists to design their covers. This naturally followed through with marketing for tours and other promotion and publicity, so posters were quickly circulated. But posters are a quickly produced medium and were only meant to last a few weeks on a wall perhaps if advertising a gig, so for some to be saved in a presentable condition is fairly unusual. The paper itself can be quite a low grade. However, if you managed to get your hands on one and have cherished it ever since (you may even have got it signed by the band/ artist!), it could now be worth a lot of money to someone else out there.
When it comes to sport, there is a passionate collector out there for just about everything! From tickets and programmes to sweaty used garments, sporting memorabilia auctions are popular events. Part of the spectacle of this area of collecting is the history that comes with each item. "The World Cup Final ball", "The shirt worn by Martin Johnson..", "The racquet used by McEnroe during Wimbledon..". The chance to own these pieces of sporting history can be too much for some, and the excitement that auction brings can result in competitive bidding. Again, provenance is key. If you have signed items, these need a solid history. Historic signed items, such as early footballs signed by championship winning teams, will vary in price depending on the players involved, and the accolades achieved. There is always a strong interest in any Olympic related ephemera as well, be it from recent Olympiads, or 20th century Olympiads. Typically interest in these items reaches a peak during an Olympic year, and likewise with football or rugby World Cups.
Gildings holds Toys, Model Trains, and Memorabilia auctions throughout the year at our auction room located in Market Harborough, as well as online. To keep informed of upcoming memorabilia auctions, simply sign up to our dedicated newsletter on this page or sign up to receive lot alerts.