Sunday, April 1, 2012
Valuation of Autographs
An autograph usually refers to a person’s artistic signature in particularly the signature of a celebrity. The hobby of collecting autographs, also referred to as philography, can be a lot of fun and a source of lucrative profits too. In this article we will try to outline a few important factors in determining the value of an autograph.
The value of a certain autograph is as we always say at the end of day, the price which a specific buyer is willing to pay at a certain time.
However, there are a few key factors which can influence the value of an autograph such as its authenticity, condition, rarity and the identity of the signing figure.
In order to verify the autograph authenticity it is advised to check the credibility of the seller and if he belongs to one of the well-known organizations such as UACC, Manuscript Society, PADA, and IADA.
After you made sure that the seller is trustworthy, it is important to authenticate the autograph itself. Confirming the signature of the person and the circumstances of the signature’s acquisitions are the first steps.
In addition, autographs from serious sources usually come with certificates of authentications (COA) which are made to verify the authenticity of the signature.
When evaluating the COA it is important to make sure that it came from a notable company with a long tracking record.
The condition of the signature is also an important factor once determining its value. Tears, stains and other faults may decrease significantly the value of the autograph, while an autograph in a very good condition will be worth much more. However, the older and rarer the autograph may be, its value may increase. Thus, the combination of rarity and condition will be taken in consideration while determining its value. It is important to note that ink signatures usually receive higher prices than other methods of signatures such as pencil as they often fade quicker.
The identity of the person signing is also a very important factor in the evaluation process - how famous this person is, is he dead or alive and can this person produce more autographs. The object on which the signatures is placed can also influence the value - as interesting object with some historic importance or which lightens another side of the person signing could increase the value as well.
The following common terms are used by auction houses to describe the type of autographs which are placed for sale:
AD: Autograph Document (hand-written by the person to be collected, but not signed)
ADS: Autograph Document Signed (written and signed by same individual)
AL: Autograph Letter (hand-written by the person to be collected, but not signed)
ALS: Autograph Letter Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)
AMs: Autograph Manuscript (hand-written; such as the draft of a play, research paper or music sheet)
AMsS: Autograph Manuscript Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)
AMusQs: Autograph Musical Quotation Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)
AN: Autograph Note (no salutation or closing, usually shorter than a letter)
ANS: Autograph Note Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual)
AQS: Autograph Quote Signed (hand-written and signed by same individual; poem verse, sentence, or bar-of-music)
DS: Document signed (printed, or while hand-written by another, is signed by individual sought to be collected)
LS: Letter Signed (hand-written by someone else, but signed by the individual sought to be collected, frequently handwritten by secretaries before the advent of the typewriter)
PS: Photograph Signed or Postcard Signed
SP: Signed Photograph
TLS: Typed Letter Signed
TNS: Typed Note Signed
Folio: A printer's sheet of paper folded once to make two leaves, double quarto size or larger.
Octavo(8vo): A manuscript page about six-by-nine inches. (Originally determined by folding a printer's sheet of paper to form eight leaves.)
Quarto(4to): A manuscript page of about nine and one-half by twelve inches. (Originally determined by folding a printer's sheet of paper twice to form four leaves.)
About the Author:
One of the great sources to your autograph collecting activity is http://
www.coollectors.com where you can buy, sell, exchange and catalog your autographs
collection or simply review collections of other collectors. You can also become
a member of the sites growing collectors community, connect with other similar
collectors exchange autographs and ideas.
1991 Baltimore Orioles Team Autographed Baseball Brady Anderson Mike Flanagan Cal Ripken Jr & Sr.