To this day, autographs from famous personalities are held at great value. Because of the signature it bears, an item’s value can rise considerably depending on the popularity of the signer. A signed item is usually given a higher appraisal compared to the same item that is not signed. For instance, in East Asia, it is considered an honor to possess the autograph of a government official. In imperial China, an emperor’s autograph was so priceless that selling any item he autographed was considered a criminal offense.
In America and Europe, before the 1980’s, asking for a celebrity’s autograph was regarded as a child’s activity. However, the rising popularity of collecting autographs soon gave many memorabilia dealers the opportunity to conduct a very lucrative business.
Most sought-after autographs
Collectors from all over the world pay millions for signatures of political legends such as Napoleon Bonaparte, United States President George Washington, and Russian revolutionary martyr Leon Trotsky (murdered controversially in the 1940’s by assassins in Mexico City).
In the sports arena, the signature of baseball legend Babe Ruth is still among the most expensive autographs to this date. Just as pricey are autographs by ‘powerful’ women, from Queen Elizabeth of England (famous for putting a capital ‘R’ after her name) to Marilyn Monroe, who is the most popular sex symbol of the century.
Even the autographs of famous scientists are fetching thousands of dollars. The signature of Virgil “Gus” Grissom, considered a top space pioneer and Mercury 7 astronaut, is a collector’s item. The same reverence is given to autographs by Guglielmo Marconi, the respected Italian physicist who invented wireless communication.
Make sure that the autograph you are buying comes with an internationally recognized certificate of authenticity. Autographs are very easy to fake x96buying from unscrupulous sources is like throwing away money. Be sure to only purchase from respected dealers with industry accreditation. They should have the approval of key organizations such as the Universal Autograph Collectors Club, the International Autograph Dealers Association, and the Manuscripts Society.