Framed Copy - "That's All Right" Master Mother Stamper - is it a good investment?

EIN casts an analytical eye over the latest, high-priced "limited edition" collectible and issues a few words of warning. (Elvis News, Source: EIN)

EIN has previously warned fans to be very wary of buying high priced items marketed as "limited edition" collectibles. Our concern arises from the fact that Elvis is one of the most marketed stars in history. There are literally thousands of items bearing his name. A sizeable number of these (plaques, collectors plates, framed collectibles) are sold as limited editions.

For instance there are many thousands of different Elvis records and CDs on the market, more than 200 collectors plates, 100 limited edition framed items of memorabilia, 1,500 books, thousands of magazines, more than 100 different stamps etc.

Very, very few actually sell out when released. That means the distributor will continue to sell them over several years until they are all sold and the selling price will remain the same in real terms. Consistent with market forces, the volume of similar though not identical "competing" Elvis product dampens the potential for most items to rise in value.

Original Sun records, less than 1% of RCA vinyl releases, items owned by Elvis and the like are really the only things you can reasonably count on to appreciate in value.

In fact, because there is so much Elvis product on the market very few items appreciate in value. Many more actually see their value drop!

There has been considerable publicity surrounding the Joseph Pirzada "That's All Right" Master Mother Stamper (

It has been cleverly released as a numbered, limited edition of 1954 copies with three price points (US$180 to $270.00 plus postage) - lower numbers selling at a higher price.

On the Elvis messageboards there has been hot debate about the authenticity of the item. For a comprehensive discussion about this issue EIN recommends you visit the Elvis Collectors messageboard ( where "PEP" listed a relevant discussion on 29 August.

As an investment EIN doubts this item is a good buy. There are several reasons why:

  • the issue price is very high 1954 is a reasonable number to be released
  • the historic significance of what is essentially a "copy" is limited
  • the market for such collectibles is limited (it is quite possible all '1954' copies will not be sold)

If you like the look of the stamper and it would hang proudly on your wall, by all means by it. Otherwise "caveat emptor" applies (let the buyer beware).

Our recommendation is that it should not be bought as an investment item.

If you don't believe us check out an auction house like eBay. Search for Elvis collectors plates, vinyl, framed prints and limited edition Elvis items. Then look at how many bids each item has attracted, and for those that do sell what price was obtained. Many fans will be surprised.

As an example, a set of six Elvis collectors plates with a list value totalling US$200.00 recently sold on eBay for only $62.50! A framed, limited edition Elvis Gold Record originally released at more than US$100.00 also sold for less than half its issue price!

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