Autographed bank notes have star quality

A collection of more than 100 celebrity autographs collected on bank notes by London taxi drivers is expected to fetch up to £2,000 at Surrey’s Ewbank’s Entertainment & Memorabilia Auction on May 30. 

A collection of banknotes signed by celebrities

Signatures include Ringo Starr (on a ten shilling note), Tony Curtis, Boy George, Terry Wogan, Rod Stewart, Lenny Henry, Cat Stevens, Richard Harris, Henry Kissinger, Annie Lennox, Geoff Hurst, Maggie Smith, Julie Rogers, and many others.  

A Ten Shillings note signed by Ringo Starr
The ten shillings note signed by Ringo Starr

The idea for the autograph books arose as a charity fundraiser. London taxi drivers were asked to collect autographs on bank notes from celebrity passengers. The autographs were made into three different books and then money was raised by the sale of raffle tickets at the trade’s annual show in Battersea Park. The vendor at Ewbank’s was lucky enough to win and it has been in the family since. The folder has 28 numbered pages with a complete index. 

The estimate is £1,000-2,000. 

A signed photograph of The Beatles
A signed photograph of The Beatles also appears in the sale

The auction also includes a portrait of John Lennon by ‘fifth’ Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe who died at the age of 21. Lennon kept it on the wall of his St George’s Hill Weybridge home in the late 1960s. 

A letter from Princess Diana written just before she agreed to a divorce from Prince Charles also features, as does a recently rediscovered letter from one of the Dambusters about the WWII raid.