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Own a piece of punk rock history

Diantha Parker Nov 24, 2008
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Own a piece of punk rock history

Diantha Parker Nov 24, 2008
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Steve Chiotakis: When you think of punk rock memorabilia, the auction house Christie’s isn’t the first place that comes to mind. But that’s where, today, you can find all kinds of items including posters from The Clash, or t-shirts featuring the Sex Pistols. A bunch of punk band names from 20 and 30 years ago, and it’s a way to bring Christie’s into a new generation of collectors. From New York, Diantha Parker reports.


Diantha Parker: Christies’ Punk sale is aimed at a younger collector, says curator Simeon Lipman, a collector who’s excited by a rare, hand-drawn flyer for a groundbreaking 1976 concert in London.

Simeon Lipman: It’s the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Buzzcocks — which are, you know like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio of the punk movement. We have this piece estimated at $3,000 to $4,000.

But a many of the pieces re priced much lower — in the $300 to $800 range. Much of this ephemera has never been sold before. It’s been saved by musicians, fans and friends for almost 30 years.

Thirty is a magic number, in a way: it’s an age at which things often become collectible — and when people start to have a little extra money. They’re the new blood Christies needs — it wants to expand its offering and its clientele.

Marion Maneker is the editor of Art Market Monitor:

Marion Maneker: One of the things the auction houses have been very good at is about educating people to bring them into collecting categories.

Both Christies and Sothebys have been reaching out to younger buyers with hipper auctions centered on fashion and design. They promote these sales with lectures, book signings and cocktail parties.

Ed Kosinski is a collector and a dealer. He’s going to the Christie’s sale himself, and showed the catalog to a few newbies. He says one saw a Clash poster:

Ed Kosinski: And right away, he started thinking about when he saw the Clash at the Ritz in New York City and that’s the whole thing about collecting — you know, it triggers a passion and a connection, And you know, the more people that get exposed to this, the more collectors there’s gonna be.

That’s what Christies hopes, anyway.

In New York, I’m Diantha Parker for Marketplace.

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