Whenever people call us and ask, “What is my autograph worth?”, we don’t just give them any number out of nowhere. A lot of factors affect the value of an autographed item. Because of this, we would like to see the items being offered for sale before giving a price for them. However, just like any other business, we follow a few rules of thumb when it comes to determining the worth of an autograph. Here’s a sneak peek into the things we look for in an autograph.
1. Who signed the autograph? – We specialize in the entertainment industry, so naturally, we pay top dollar for celebrities whose reputations have far exceeded their lifetimes. For instance, autographs of entertainers such as Bob Hope or George Burns, who signed thousands of items throughout their long entertainment careers, are not as valued as autographs of celebrities who died young, such as Marilyn Monroe, whose autographs sell for thousands of dollars. It also helps that she remains popular and has a cult-like following. We are willing to bet that many of today’s celebrities won’t be able to command the prices that Marilyn Monroe memorabilia still fetch.
2. What is the condition of the autograph? – A lot of factors can affect an autographed item’s condition, and often, the answer to “What is my autograph worth?” lies in the condition of the item. Creased photographs, for instance, are far less valuable than undamaged ones. The autograph itself could fade due to the medium used – ink, for instance, lasts longer than pencil, and most collectors prefer signatures done in ink. The bolder and stronger the strokes, the longer the autograph will last.
3. What kind of item carries the autograph? – It’s quite common to see celebrity signatures on random pieces of paper, airline tickets, or a photo. While they have value, they are considered not as valuable as personal items, such as George Washington’s copy of the Acts of Congress, which sold for close to $10 million. Sometimes, an autographed everyday item could be more valuable due to the circumstances surrounding it. For instance, an autographed copy of John Lennon’s Double Fantasy LP sold for just over half a million dollars when it was revealed that Lennon signed it – for his shooter – hours before his murder.
When you need an answer to the question, “What is my autograph worth?”, look no further than Piece of the Past. We are known for fair prices and honest appraisals. Call us at 951-258-4968 so that we could look at your signed items.