Are Historical and Political Autographs Great Investments?


Archival Framing

Conservation Framed President James Monroe Signed Document


Museum Framed

Historical letter museum framed signed by William Smallwood, a General during the American Revolution from Marynd

Museum Framing

Antique paper should be properly framed to preserve them for many years


Throughout my life, I have always been involved with collecting in some fashion and longevity.  As a child, I started like most children, collecting toys.  I remember my parents buying Hot Wheels’ cars for my birthday.   At age 7, I visited Maine with my family and took an interest in coins when I walked by a coin shop.  I took an interest in all sorts of old coins.  Silver nickels, old pennies, all with a variety of dates and mint marks (these are letters that were placed on coins that represented the mints that made them, like “S” for San Francisco).   It was during this time, I tried to take up stamps.  But, that interest faded quickly as I grew more fascinated with coins.

Then, as time passed and I entered high school, my interest evolved from coins to paper money. Nothing was more beautiful than seeing large, colorful bills from the 1800s and early 1900s.  Like coins, the older currency was more beautiful than the money we have today.  I expanded into colonial American paper money.  It was cool to see important colonists actually signed these early notes.  This led me into the most exciting and challenging collecting field that has held my interest the longest.

Historical and Political Autographs and Documents.  After 25 years of collecting, I still have a keen interest and a love for the hobby.  No other field is packed with as much education, history and enjoyment.  For example, if Abraham Lincoln is one of your heroes, you might pick up a letter or document signed by him as President.

Think for a second.  You acquire a document or letter signed by a historical figure.  Then you realize, this man not only touched this very piece of paper or vellum, but he also signed it.  How cool is that? When I owned a 1862 Indian Cent, I would imagine IF Lincoln touched that coin. BUT,  if he signed his name to a document, you know he DID touch it.  Wow, sends chills up my spine!

Unlike other fields, which are expensive or available in abundance, historical and presidential autographs are unique in have a limited supply.  No matter how much money you have, you may not always find the document you want.  You would have to wait for it to hit the market.  This is the excitement and challenge of the hobby.  You may have to wait a long time for a collection or individual pieces to be on the market to find what you want.

Proper framing techniques

Vellum Document was professionally encapsulated in Mylar for maximum preservation

Historical documents have also demonstrated price appreciation over the years.  Of course, this is not the main reason to collect, but by trying to collect certain areas, like American Revolution or Famous Women, you are acquiring a store of value to enjoy.  Hey, a built in investment.  Autographs should be bought for their enjoyment, not for investment reasons.

When everyone is scrambling these to be “connected” to their friends or up to date on the latest rumors, it’s good to be able to sit back, relax and read about that important person whose autograph you just acquired.  Think about it.

What was going on his his/her mind when he wrote or signed that letter or document?  Fascinating to ponder that thought.

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