The rise of collecting film and music memorabilia during the pandemic


Authored by Covéa Insurance

Collecting of film and music memorabilia went up during the pandemic as some people had more time to research and more money to spend. These items are often acquired by younger generations who now have disposable income and look to collect things from their past/childhood. Film posters are seen as a good alternative to traditional art and look particularly good in modern homes.

Bonham’s is the only global auction house to offer dedicated sales in the fields of Film, Entertainment, Music, and Sporting Memorabilia. Auctions take place in London and Los Angeles twice annually and include a range of vintage film and music memorabilia relating to some of the most prominent actors, musicians, entertainers and sporting legends of the Twentieth Century.

In 2017, Bonham’s set the world record for the most expensive piece of film memorabilia ever sold at auction; Robby the Robot from MGM's 'Forbidden Planet' (1956) which achieved $5.3million.

Some other notable sales include:

  • The piano from 'Casablanca' on which Sam plays "As Time Goes By", $3.4million
  • The Maltese Falcon statuette from the 'The Maltese Falcon', $4million
  • Judy Garland's dress from the 1939 film 'Wizard of Oz', $1.56million
  • An EMI TG12345 Mk IV recording console used by Pink Floyd, $1.7million
  • Jimi Hendrix: An Epiphone FT 79 acoustic guitar, £209,000
  • Steve McQueen's racing suit from 'Le Mans', $425,000

Paul Newman, one of history’s most iconic movie stars, made further history in 2017 when his 1968 Rolex Daytona sold for $15.5 million. (Including the buyer's premium of 12.5%, the final price comes to $17,752,500). Whilst not Film / Music memorabilia per se, it shows what influence Hollywood stars can have.

Celebrities have also been known to purchase other celebrities’ memorabilia:

From an insurance perspective, valuing these items can be particularly challenging as artists / genres can come in and out of fashion, fakes are common place (which is where the importance of using a reputable dealer comes into its own) and items bought at auction (particularly charity events) can be at inflated prices due to the nature of the event.

Insurance valuations will often reflect the highest amount to ensure the customer is adequately reimbursed in the event of a loss and should be regularly reviewed / updated to reflect any trends and changes in value. Any claims can be settled quickly with the correct documentation i.e. valuations undertaken by approved professionals and sufficient proof of ownership.

You'll be pleased to know that collections are automatically covered as part of our Executive Home and Executive Plus policies up to £25,000 and £50,000 respectively but we can of course insure specified collections above these values. Speak to your HNW Underwriter to find out more.


About Covea

Covéa Insurance is the UK underwriting business of the leading French mutual insurance Group Covéa and offers competitively-priced household and motor insurance, along with a range of commercial insurance products designed to meet the needs of most businesses, through a nationwide network of intermediaries.  

Regional distribution teams based in 9 regional offices offer brokers and insurance intermediaries direct access to senior underwriters.  Covéa Insurance handles the insurance needs of over 1 million policyholders.

Latest video

Covéa launches brand new e-Trade Commercial Combined insurance product

Covéa Insurance is proud to launch their brand-new e-Trade product.Carolyn Callan, Commercial & High Net Worth Director, plus Eugene O’Callaghan, Acturis e-... click here for more