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Signature collections

Published : Jul 7, 2019, 6:45 am IST
Updated : Jul 7, 2019, 6:45 am IST

Here are some of the rarest autographs of historical figures that are worth owning if you have a fortune to shell out.

Collectors are ready to pay anything for the objects signed by historical figures.
 Collectors are ready to pay anything for the objects signed by historical figures.

It is a dream come true moment for a fan when he/she gets the autograph of the person they madly adore. Crazy fans wait hours to get a glimpse of the celebrities they love and to get their signature. Collectors are ready to pay anything for the objects signed by historical figures. It wouldn’t be surprising to know that the signatures of some idolised legends are not only unique, but cost a bomb!

Some of the most expensive autographs of all times have circulated many hands and have over the years become some of the most priced memorabilia.

From George Washington’s signed personal copy of the Acts of Congress to Albert Einstein’s epic tongue photograph that has only two or three original copies signed by him to that of Bob Dylan, Pele, Madonna and

J.K. Rowling, the list is endless. Who knows, an odd celebrity autograph gathering dust in your loft might be worth a fortune!

Babe Ruth's Baseball


During his record-breaking baseball career which stretched from 1914 to 1935 Babe Ruth was recognised as the ‘Sultan of Swat’. A ball signed by the baseball legend in 1926 was sold for $3,88,375 in a 2012 auction making it one of the most expensive baseballs ever sold in history. Ruth had signed the ball for an ailing 11-year-old Johnny Sylvester in order to encourage him and wrote “I’ll knock a homer for Wednesday’s game” on it. Ruth then famously hit three home runs for the New York Yankees that Wednesday, which happened to be Game 4 of the 1926 World Series.

Abraham Lincoln's emancipation  Proclamation   


In 1864, a year before his death, US President Abraham Lincoln signed 48 copies of the Emancipation Proclamation which ended slavery. One of the copies of the document was sold in 1991 for $750k and another in 2012, which was bought by billionaire David Rubenstein for $2 million. However, one of the copies that owned by one-time presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is the one to be sold at a record price till date. It is bought for an astonishing $3.7 million by an anonymous collector. Twenty six copies of this historic document survive today and are displayed in universities and museums, with a few in private hands as well.

John Lennon's autograph to his murderer


Beatles star John Lennon signed his last autograph on his latest album entitled Double Fantasy just a few hours before he was shot. The irony is that Lennon signed it for his murderer Mark Chapman. Mark, who was upset by Lennon’s public comments, returned a few hours’ later and fired five deadly shots at the music superstar, killing him at a relatively young age of 40. The album was found by an anonymous man in a flower planter near the place of the murder and was sent to the police who gave it back to him. The copy, however, has changed hands more than once. The individual, who originally found it, sold it in 1999 for $1,50,000. In 2003, it was sold again and in 2010 again, when it went was bought for a whopping $8,50,000. Latest reports suggest that the current owner too is willing to sell the copy; the quoted price is estimated at $1.5 million.

George Washington's Acts of Congress

George Washington, the first US President, kept a personal copy of the Acts of Congress, including the Constitution and Bill of Rights, with his signature of ownership and handwritten annotations in the margins. Dating back to 1789, the historic document set auction records in 2012, when this rare piece of memorabilia was sold for the exorbitant price of $9.8 million. The collectible was purchased by Ann Bookout, a board member of the Vernon Ladies Association, a non-profit organisation that manages Washington’s Virginia Estate. The book has since then placed at the Washington Presidential Library in the White House.


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