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Deal of the Century: Best autograph deals you ever saw or got

JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭
edited October 23, 2021 10:59AM in Autographs Forum

I wanted to create a thread about all the really awesome deals us collectors found (and missed out on) or got (you were the lucky buyer). Do NOT include through the mail successes or gifts.

Missed Opportunities:

  • There was a typed authentic George H.W. Bush letter signed as President on White House letterhead. It had a few wrinkles but other than that no issues. It sold with one bid of $15. This was sold only a few months ago. The listing was not properly listed which may have resulted in low traffic.

  • There was an authentic Ruth Bader Ginsburg signed Supreme Court photo that was listed on eBay for a starting bid of just $10. I put it on my watch list thinking I would bid on it closer to end time. The next day I noticed the listing was ended because a Buy It Now was added for $100 that someone had asked the seller to do. As a result of the seller being unaware of the true value (their other items for sale were various other household things, this was the only autograph they had) they agreed to list a Buy It Now for $100. I wish I had thought of doing that but it never occurred to me. Now I know this can sometimes be a tactic if I suspect seller doesn’t know what they have.

  • I was at a coin show where this dealer had a few non-coin items for sale including autographs of Martin Luther King Jr., Harry Truman and Gerald Ford. He told me he bought an estate and these were among the items in the large coin collection. He sent all three off to get authenticated from PSA. Fortunately this dealer knew to have the sticker placed on the Letter of Authenticity instead of on actual item. I had been in my in between collecting autographs phase so I had not really been back into collecting autographs for myself at that time. I knew however if they were cheap I could buy and resell them, especially because they had authentication. The guy wanted $100 each for Truman and Ford, and originally $2000 for Martin Luther King Jr. The Truman and Ford were both signed letters and MLK Jr. was on a program for an event pertaining to his right for Civil Rights in the early 1960s (8.5 x 11 in size with like 15 pages). It was surprisingly not personalized and just signed like “with very best wishes, Martin Luther King, Jr.” A very nice full signature in blue ballpoint pen on the light blue cover of the program. I was thinking $2000 seemed like a good price for MLK Jr. but I couldn’t remember if that is what they typically sold for (being out of collecting autographs for a while) so I figured there was not much profit in it for me unless I could get it for much less than $2000 if I suspected I would be getting about $2000 for it. I figured the dealer didn’t know much about it given he was primarily a coin dealer so I tried to see if I could get it for like $1200. The dealer did come down to $1800. I actually had enough money to do that but I knew with fees and everything with reselling it probably wasn’t worth it. Little did I know that his autograph alone (not on any item, just a plain signature) was around $3000. This program AT THE TIME would likely have sold for at least $3500 on RRAuction (they are now bringing at least $6500). A few months later I see the same dealer again and he asks if I want to MLK Jr. signed program for $1600. I am shocked he hadn’t sold it yet but I offer $1200 because that was all the cash I had on me but he said that was too low. I can’t remember if he told me he paid $1200 for the MLK Jr. program and that was why he couldn’t sell it to me for $1200 or if he paid $1500 and just wanted to get rid of it for what he paid and me not having the cash available couldn’t do. I do remember almost kind of coming to a deal but because I was a few hundred short we didn’t make the deal. I saw him again a year or two later and he told me that he sold his MLK Jr. and told me he was glad I didn’t buy it because he ended up getting $5,000 for it from someone in Georgia. Not sure if he put it up for auction or someone just offered him that. I was really kicking myself at this point because I was now back into collecting autographs for myself and I MLK Jr. is actually one of the few autographs I want for my small historical autograph collection.

Times I got the deal:

  • I was able to buy a signed edition of Barack Obama’s A Promised Land for $350. Those exact books are routinely selling for around $600. I got very lucky to find one on the shelf at a bookstore the day it was released. That bookstore only got three copies. I was the second one to buy one. It was one per person/member. It is my favorite autograph in my current collection.

Former collection (no longer own these autographs)

  • Madonna had issued a Children’s book set sometime in 2005/2006 that included an authentic hand signed letter in each set. Originally these book sets were to be sold at $120 each but one day Amazon was doing some kind of special sale for a very limited amount of time where you could buy these book sets for $20 each. I believe it was one per an account so I only bought one. Her autograph alone is usually worth $400-$500.

  • I found an authentic Henry Fonda signature for $5 off eBay. The listing was for a lot of “three mystery signatures” and I immediately recognized one as being Henry Fonda. The other two turned out to be local sports figures in the seller’s area which were very little known nationally. I did the Buy It Now for $5 and was pleased when I got the Henry Fonda. It was not personalized and a very nice signature on a 2x3 slip of paper. At the time his autograph was brining $100. Not sure if his signature cost less now due to many older Hollywood legends becoming less desirable to newer collectors.

  • I bought an authentic signed Cher 8x10 black and white photo at a flea market for $10. I wasn’t 100% sure when I bought it if it was autopen or not, but when I got home and researched it, it turned out it was authentic. Pretty neat find!

  • Years after Gerald Ford died, I found his autograph on a First Day Cover at a flea market for $10. Totally authentic.

  • I found an autographed copy of Hillary Clinton’s Living History for $5 at a flea market. I could tell it was authentic and not autopen due to pen pressure and signature tailing off at the end. I bought it immediately. Unfortunately I sold it during my big sell off when I stopped collecting in 2011, well before she ran and won the Democratic nomination in 2016. I got like $75 for it in 2011 but they were selling for like $500 in 2016. I believe they are much cheaper now ($100ish).

  • I bought an authentic Alec Guinness signed photo (not Star Wars but a still vintage and neat photo) for $20. It was unfortunately personalized but for $20 it was a steal. At the time he was routinely selling for $100 personalized. Nowadays I heard his autograph (personalized) is going for over $300-$500 depending on photo, and over $1000 not personalized.

  • I purchased a Carrie Fisher signed photo from OfficalPix for $50. This was a sale they were doing at the time (usually they were $100-$150). I think I bought this in like 2011 right before I stopped collecting and did my big sell off. I ended up getting like $75 for it, but knowing they are now bringing over $500 I am so mad I didn’t just keep that one.


There were also times where I got burned because I thought I was getting a deal but it turned out autograph was fake (autopen, secretarial, printed etc.). I am a lot more careful now, but it can still happen. This is probably a topic for a new thread at some point.

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Comments

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,750 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2021 1:52PM

    I don't have any fantastic / bad deals to relate, just a lot of tiny ones:

    Baseball Hall of Famer: the cheapest I ever paid for a future HOF'er was a Ted Simmons on an index card for a buck. On the other extreme, I paid nearly $70 for an autographed photo with COA for a player who was a cinch in my mind for the HOF - Rafael Palmeiro - and received it just before he testified in Congress and denied PED usage. Groan.

    Books: 5 years ago in a used bookstore, I paid $3 for mystery writer S. S. Van Dine's, "The Dragon Murder Case" book (with detective Philo Vance) , 1st edition, signed and personalized by Van Dine in 1933.

    Music: By keeping a sharp eye at flea markets and record stores, I have paid slightly more than $50 >> combined << for autographed records by the following artists: Brook Benton, Sophie Tucker, Glen Campbell, Thompson Twins, Jeannie C. Riley, Paul Lynde, Patti Page, Stan Kenton, Four Aces, Connie Francis, Al Jarreau, Four Lads, Al Hirt, Allan Jones, Connie Smith, Mary Kay Place, Senator Robert Byrd, Shenandoah and Webb Pierce.

    A sort of free autograph: In the early 1980s, Joan Howard Maurer helped to raise funds for a cancer center dedicated to her father at the City of Hope National Medical Center by offering to give each donor one of her father's cancelled checks that had been signed by him. So I sent in a donation and got a check. Joan's father? Moe Howard of the Three Stooges.

  • bronzematbronzemat Posts: 2,430 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ernie11 said:
    A sort of free autograph: In the early 1980s, Joan Howard Maurer helped to raise funds for a cancer center dedicated to her father at the City of Hope National Medical Center by offering to give each donor one of her father's cancelled checks that had been signed by him. So I sent in a donation and got a check. Joan's father? Moe Howard of the Three Stooges.

    Joan died a few weeks ago, her granddaughter posted it.

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,750 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bronzemat said:

    @ernie11 said:
    A sort of free autograph: In the early 1980s, Joan Howard Maurer helped to raise funds for a cancer center dedicated to her father at the City of Hope National Medical Center by offering to give each donor one of her father's cancelled checks that had been signed by him. So I sent in a donation and got a check. Joan's father? Moe Howard of the Three Stooges.

    Joan died a few weeks ago, her granddaughter posted it.

    I just heard this recently. She did so much to publicize the lives of the Stooges, I still have her Curly book, woo, woo, woo.

  • bronzematbronzemat Posts: 2,430 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ernie11 said:

    @bronzemat said:

    @ernie11 said:
    A sort of free autograph: In the early 1980s, Joan Howard Maurer helped to raise funds for a cancer center dedicated to her father at the City of Hope National Medical Center by offering to give each donor one of her father's cancelled checks that had been signed by him. So I sent in a donation and got a check. Joan's father? Moe Howard of the Three Stooges.

    Joan died a few weeks ago, her granddaughter posted it.

    I just heard this recently. She did so much to publicize the lives of the Stooges, I still have her Curly book, woo, woo, woo.

    Nice. It's a shame so many of the new generations don't appreciate the classics/actors.

    I'm 42 and I just don't see how some turd licker who streams video games on youtube is a "celebrity" which requires no talent. But the Stooges, Buster Keaton & so many more go right over their heads. :s

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @ernie11 said:

    A sort of free autograph: In the early 1980s, Joan Howard Maurer helped to raise funds for a cancer center dedicated to her father at the City of Hope National Medical Center by offering to give each donor one of her father's cancelled checks that had been signed by him. So I sent in a donation and got a check. Joan's father? Moe Howard of the Three Stooges.

    I think that one is really cool and I love the story behind it. If I’m not mistaken I think his autograph was worth around $150 (but that was before 2011 when I was looking to add the Three Stooges autographs to my collection which I never did as I paused collecting). I do remember all Three Stooges autographs on an album page cost around $1000. With this new decrease occurring with new collectors not appreciating classic stars they may very well have gone down in value.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My guess is that the Three Stooges have risen above pop culture popularity and are icons now. I'll bet their value is pretty solid by now. :p

    A couple years ago Moe Howard's family auctioned off some of his memorabilia and those checks were starting at least a couple hundred dollars each.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As for my own great deals I'll have to give it some thought but one that comes to mind is a letter from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

    It was a year or two ago and I stumbled upon it on Ebay. It did not have the word "autograph" in the title and was listed in the section Historical Memorabilia/Presidents/First Ladies instead of the Autograph category. I won it for $1 with $1 shipping.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    As for my own great deals I'll have to give it some thought but one that comes to mind is a letter from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

    It was a year or two ago and I stumbled upon it on Ebay. It did not have the word "autograph" in the title and was listed in the section Historical Memorabilia/Presidents/First Ladies instead of the Autograph category. I won it for $1 with $1 shipping.

    Now that is what I call an amazing find. Also unbelievable shipping was only a $1 then but perhaps they just sent it in a standard envelope with a stamp?

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JMS1223 said:

    @JBK said:
    As for my own great deals I'll have to give it some thought but one that comes to mind is a letter from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

    It was a year or two ago and I stumbled upon it on Ebay. It did not have the word "autograph" in the title and was listed in the section Historical Memorabilia/Presidents/First Ladies instead of the Autograph category. I won it for $1 with $1 shipping.

    Now that is what I call an amazing find. Also unbelievable shipping was only a $1 then but perhaps they just sent it in a standard envelope with a stamp?

    I think they actually sent it certified!

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JMS1223 said:

    • Madonna had issued a Children’s book set sometime in 2005/2006 that included an authentic hand signed letter in each set. Originally these book sets were to be sold at $120 each but one day Amazon was doing some kind of special sale for a very limited amount of time where you could buy these book sets for $20 each.

    I remember those. I think they were on clearance when I got them. I think they were $25 each and I got four of them. I waited for the dust to settle and when I sold the first one I basically recouped my cost on all four. B)

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:

    @JMS1223 said:

    • Madonna had issued a Children’s book set sometime in 2005/2006 that included an authentic hand signed letter in each set. Originally these book sets were to be sold at $120 each but one day Amazon was doing some kind of special sale for a very limited amount of time where you could buy these book sets for $20 each.

    I remember those. I think they were on clearance when I got them. I think they were $25 each and I got four of them. I waited for the dust to settle and when I sold the first one I basically recouped my cost on all four. B)

    I guess it wasn’t limited to one per a person then. No idea why I didn’t buy more if I could had.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 24, 2021 3:06PM

    Two of my proudest "mystery" autograph purchases did not represent much profit (especially since I still have them) but I was happy to be able to figure out who wrote the letters by the content.

    One was from British author Louis Golding, who was very famous in the UK a century ago. He was well respected but for some reason his popularity did not outlive him for very long.

    In his letter he mentioned his most famous book - Magnolia Street - which made it pretty easy to figure out who he was. The thing is, I had mostly deciphered his signature by then. It was illegible by today's standards but probably in line with the handwriting of his era.

    I paid $10 for it, and it might but bring $40 to the right buyer. Not a huge score financially but at least I saved it from obscurity.

    The other was a letter by famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin. It was a letter of introduction written to a famous yoga instructor in India to introduce someone who wanted to meet him while on a trip there.

    There was no hope of deciphering the signature (first name only) and the letter was on hotel stationery so no help there. So, I researched the recipient, who was known for popularizing yoga in the western world. His bio in Wikipedia mentioned that he became internationally known after using yoga to treat the chronic pain of famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin and that immediately jumped out at me. I knew that had to be the signature. The violinist was responsible for bringing the yoga expert to Europe and the rest is history.

    I paid around $10 and a dealer might try to list it in the $100 range.

  • mrmoparmrmopar Posts: 888 ✭✭✭

    A comment I read in this thread struck me. It brings up, at least in my mind, the ethical question about buying something from a seller who has no clue what they have and has offered it for well under market value. Many see this as a score, while others may see it differently. Of course, this can be spun any way you want to. Seller should do their research first, pay attention to details, etc.

    Auctions are different, because that comes down to the fact that anyone can place a bid if they want it. A poorly priced buy it now on the other hand can be viewed the same way as the above thought. Same spin here too, including if I don't buy it, someone else will, etc.

    I can't think of any specifically that stand out now, off the top of my head, but I am sure I have gotten some nice bargains over the years.

    One similar item that borders on my earlier thoughts, which I did win at auction, but still feel a little guilty about. I was watching an item that advertised a certain baseball players signature. The card was one of those rookie prospect cards with 3 players featured. The signature was over the guy being advertised, but I could see that it was actually a different player on the card, one who had proven to be difficult to obtain.

    I was the only bidder and won it for opening bid price. and a steal at that price.

    I collect Steve Garvey, Dodgers and signed cards. Collector since 1978.
  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    One thing to note is sometimes one thinks they found a bargain only to later find out autograph is secretarially signed or an outright forgery.

    Sometimes the seller is well aware they are passing off a fake, but many times they have no idea what they have (especially if obtained for a very small price), so you might pick up a JFK signed letter for $5 at a yard sale in a box of random ephemera then find out it was signed by a secretary. But suppose that same JFK letter turned out to be authentically signed, now you got a deal but you didn’t know for sure if it was authentic until further analysis much later after purchase.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It is an interesting topic that pops up on the coin forum occasionally. In one case someone might be condemned for taking advantage of an inexperiened or uneducated seller, and in another they are congratulated for a great score.

    On a number of occasions I have alerted sellers to the identity of an autograph that they had not identified. In other cases where my own investigation or study of the item has led me to identify the signature, I have bid on the item as listed. I am not sure where the line is drawn but if can figure it out by doing research or interpretation that they could have done then I am inclined to allow myself to benefit from my experience or expertise.

    As mentioned above, I also assume the risk of being taken advantage of, either intentionally or unintentionally. So, I don't mind that sometimes the payoff goes to my benefit. It's all part of the process. I am not learning and honing my skills just to give out free advice to sellers. I do it partly to protect myself and to use my knowledge to my benefit.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    I saw this on eBay recently and it only sold for $30 but if it’s authentic it was a steal they got. I didn’t bid mostly because I wasn’t certain of authentically, already have a Thurgood Marshall and winning bidder may have had in a large bid so I probably would have had to pay a lot more than $30.

    What do you think, do you think this was authentic? The only thing that made me think it MIGHT be is the seller had a lot of ttm autographs for sale BUT they were mixed in with autographs likely purchased by the former collector over the years (some good, some not).

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You're the best one to ask ;) but at first glance I'm not a huge fan of it.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    Sort of related to this topic, and I didn’t want to start a new thread so I will ask here.

    Have you ever checked out a book from your local library and discover it was autographed?

    In the event you have or haven’t, do you know of an ethical way to get the autograph? You may not necessarily want the whole book, but just the signature. Would you buy another book, unsigned, and tell the library you lost and and want to replace it? Or just never return it and pay the cost of the book? Or tear out the signed page, return it and hope no one finds out? We can apply this scenario to the hypothetical situation that the autograph is rare such as a Walt Disney that was signed in the 1960s (where book unsigned isn’t valuable) or a more common one such as Jimmy Carter on one of his many autobiographies. Remember this book is in the regular circulating collection and in the catalog it doesn’t even mention it is signed.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hnmm...some random thoughts.

    I did see an autographed book in the library once - a book with a nice inscription from Senator Edward Brooke. It had obviously been donated to the library by the recipient.

    As I recall, the library had tossed the original dust jacket and there was some kind of sticker or security tag stuck onto the inscription page that affected the writing.

    In that case, they knew it was signed and did not care.

    Not sure what options would
    be for the collector. In addition to the ones you posted, you could also ask the administrator if they'd let you buy it or replace it - they do get rid of books periodically so maybe they'd rather have the money.

    If it was a rare signature that is worth a lot of money then there is the added issue of what is ethical.

    Keep in mind that ex-library books usually have various issues such as markings, etc. that reduce the value to book collectors.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    Hnmm...some random thoughts.

    I did see an autographed book in the library once - a book with a nice inscription from Senator Edward Brooke. It had obviously been donated to the library by the recipient.

    As I recall, the library had tossed the original dust jacket and there was some kind of sticker or security tag stuck onto the inscription page that affected the writing.

    In that case, they knew it was signed and did not care.

    Not sure what options would
    be for the collector. In addition to the ones you posted, you could also ask the administrator if they'd let you buy it or replace it - they do get rid of books periodically so maybe they'd rather have the money.

    If it was a rare signature that is worth a lot of money then there is the added issue of what is ethical.

    Keep in mind that ex-library books usually have various issues such as markings, etc. that reduce the value to book collectors.

    What did you do about the Edward Brooke book you saw? Let it be or did you end up being able to get it for your collection?

    I saw on Pawn Stars recently a Shirley Temple signed book but because it was a former library book it was worth a lot less ($200 instead of $500). This is what made me think about asking this question. Her signature alone is worth a little, so even if clipped out of the book, it would look nice framed with a photo.

    If I found a Walt Disney autograph in a ex-library book I think I would prefer it out of the book for a few reasons: the book likely wouldn’t be written by him, the signature alone looks nice, and the book would have expected issues that ex-library books have. Also I don’t really like signed books as they take up a lot of space. If I get a signed book, I would want it to be written by the person who signed it and it be in good condition. Otherwise I would rather have the signed page cut out.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I didn't do anything about the Ed Brooke. I am sure it was tossed long ago. :/

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    This Joe Biden signature only went for $42 but I think it might had been fake so I didn’t bid. Didn’t look right to me but then again it was signed in 1994 so his signature may had just changed. I am mostly used to the signature he uses today. Don’t know a lot about his earlier signatures. Perhaps someone here does and can tell me if this was a steal or a fake (secretarial ttm or forgery)?

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I really do not like that one at all.

    I have some photos from years ago (some AP some hopefully real) that I'll dig out at some point.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    I really do not like that one at all.

    I have some photos from years ago (some AP some hopefully real) that I'll dig out at some point.

    Glad you agree it was likely not good. I would had been sad if I missed out on a deal.

    That would be great to use as reference in the future if I ever do come across an authentic old Biden autograph. I would definitely like to have some examples from each decade since he started signing in the 1970s.

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,750 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have not gotten an autograph in person from Joe Biden, but since I'm from Delaware, I've gotten letters, etc. from him and found signed items. I got this many years ago - a 1978 Return Day program signed by Joe. All I can say is - if it's fake, nobody profited much by it, because I bought it for $1 in a flea market.

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,750 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 12, 2021 10:12AM

    Another one that >> doesn't << look like a real Joe signature I got in a used bookstore here in Philadelphia. Dates from 2007, when Biden wrote the book, so it's 29 years after the other one I posted. The bookstore owners said that Biden was here in Philly for some appearance while he was Senator, saw the bookstore and went in. They had a copy of his book, and he was willing to sign it for them. It doesn't look as dead-on as other Biden signatures, but that bookstore was a cramped place and Biden would've had to sign this standing up, which might have influenced its appearance.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @ernie11 said:
    I have not gotten an autograph in person from Joe Biden, but since I'm from Delaware, I've gotten letters, etc. from him and found signed items. I got this many years ago - a 1978 Return Day program signed by Joe. All I can say is - if it's fake, nobody profited much by it, because I bought it for $1 in a flea market.

    $1? Wow, I think we have a winner here for Deal of the Century! Also I definitely think that one looks authentic. Lucky you!

    @ernie11 said:
    Another one that >> doesn't << look like a real Joe signature I got in a used bookstore here in Philadelphia. Dates from 2007, when Biden wrote the book, so it's 29 years after the other one I posted. The bookstore owners said that Biden was here in Philly for some appearance while he was Senator, saw the bookstore and went in. They had a copy of his book, and he was willing to sign it for them. It doesn't look as dead-on as other Biden signatures, but that bookstore was a cramped place and Biden would've had to sign this standing up, which might have influenced its appearance.

    I can see what you mean that it looks off but given the context I can see how it’s authentic. If you ever send that in, I wonder if Beckett or other Third Party Authentication companies would acknowledge the situation in which that signature was likely signed (standing up in cramped bookstore setting).

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll have to sleep on the book, but the program looks good.

    Notice the differences to the index card. The card has no slant to the signature and the B is all wrong.

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,750 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 12, 2021 10:36AM

    @JMS1223 said:

    @ernie11 said:
    I have not gotten an autograph in person from Joe Biden, but since I'm from Delaware, I've gotten letters, etc. from him and found signed items. I got this many years ago - a 1978 Return Day program signed by Joe. All I can say is - if it's fake, nobody profited much by it, because I bought it for $1 in a flea market.

    I can see what you mean that it looks off but given the context I can see how it’s authentic. If you ever send that in, I wonder if Beckett or other Third Party Authentication companies would acknowledge the situation in which that signature was likely signed (standing up in cramped bookstore setting).

    Well, it's possible the bookstore owners let him sit down behind their little desk, but that would've been just as cramped :-)

    And, actually this book was my best deal ever for an autograph, because I had $40 credit with that store and at the end of 2014, they were closing for good and were having a going-out-of-business sale, with big discounts. When I got there, the shelves were half empty, and I couldn't find any books that I wanted, so I thought I would just have to throw away $40. They had 2 tables out front on the street, so I went out there and the signed Biden book was on the table, selling for $50. I grabbed and took it inside and that's when the owner explained how Biden had come along and signed it. And the owner just let me have the book for my $40 credit. So in essence, it was a freebie.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @ernie11 said:
    Another one that >> doesn't << look like a real Joe signature …It doesn't look as dead-on as other Biden signatures, but that bookstore was a cramped place and Biden would've had to sign this standing up, which might have influenced its appearance.

    @JBK said:
    I'll have to sleep on the book

    That reminds me of a Harrison Ford I had in my former collection. Did not look authentic at all but it was obtained in person and signed quickly while standing up. No authenticator would authenticate it so it’s pretty much going to be treated as a “fake” autograph to anyone else that did NOT see it signed in person. That’s the one downfall to sloppy in person signatures.

    Needless to say, when I resold this I only got $30 despite Autograph World’s COA (a reputable company) which stated they obtained it in person with date and location. In comparison a normal Harrison Ford signed 8x10 like this routinely sold for around $500 in 2011 (when I sold it). Now it’s closer to $800.

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,750 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The earliest Joe signature that I have, on a form letter. I've always assumed was a secretarial, mostly because of the secretary's initials in the lower left, though I guess it's faintly possible Biden sat down and signed hundreds of form letters. I worked in his first campaign for U.S. Senate 49 years ago and received this letter thanking me, dated 8 days after his election. Real signature or not, my compadres on the Biden Political Items Collectors Facebook page love this letter simply because of its sheer age.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can't comment on the "Joe" at the moment (but it does at least have a slant to it) but I have tons of older letters from all sorts of people, and those initials usually indicated the secretary who typed the letter.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    He said in his letter it was OK to call on him "at any time".

    Now would be good. Tell him a few people here would like his autograph. :D

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 12, 2021 11:13AM

    @JMS1223 said:

    @ernie11 said:
    Another one that >> doesn't << look like a real Joe signature …It doesn't look as dead-on as other Biden signatures, but that bookstore was a cramped place and Biden would've had to sign this standing up, which might have influenced its appearance.

    @JBK said:
    I'll have to sleep on the book

    That reminds me of a Harrison Ford I had in my former collection. Did not look authentic at all but it was obtained in person and signed quickly while standing up. No authenticator would authenticate it so it’s pretty much going to be treated as a “fake” autograph to anyone else that did NOT see it signed in person. That’s the one downfall to sloppy in person signatures.

    Needless to say, when I resold this I only got $30 despite Autograph World’s COA (a reputable company) which stated they obtained it in person with date and location. In comparison a normal Harrison Ford signed 8x10 like this routinely sold for around $500 in 2011 (when I sold it). Now it’s closer to $800.

    I learned a hard but important lesson early on. An autograph needs to not only be authentic, but also authenticatable .

    A lot of rushed in person signatures can't meet that standard.

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,750 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    He said in his letter it was OK to call on him "at any time".

    Now would be good. Tell him a few people here would like his autograph. :D

    I'm here rolling with laughter!

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @ernie11 said:

    @JBK said:
    He said in his letter it was OK to call on him "at any time".

    Now would be good. Tell him a few people here would like his autograph. :D

    I'm here rolling with laughter!

    Not sure if you read my story in the other thread (Autograph stories…) about me calling Tim Murray, but if you have -

    Maybe you should try calling Joe Biden tonight and ask “can you send me three autographs? One for me and two friends” LOL 😂

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,750 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JMS1223 said:

    @ernie11 said:

    @JBK said:
    He said in his letter it was OK to call on him "at any time".

    Now would be good. Tell him a few people here would like his autograph. :D

    I'm here rolling with laughter!

    Not sure if you read my story in the other thread (Autograph stories…) about me calling Tim Murray, but if you have -

    Maybe you should try calling Joe Biden tonight and ask “can you send me three autographs? One for me and two friends” LOL 😂

    Ha ha, let me dial the White House tonight and get him on the phone, if he doesn't come through for us all, I can guilt him: "But, Joe, you promised me 49 years ago!!!"

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @ernie11 said:

    @JMS1223 said:

    @ernie11 said:

    @JBK said:
    He said in his letter it was OK to call on him "at any time".

    Now would be good. Tell him a few people here would like his autograph. :D

    I'm here rolling with laughter!

    Not sure if you read my story in the other thread (Autograph stories…) about me calling Tim Murray, but if you have -

    Maybe you should try calling Joe Biden tonight and ask “can you send me three autographs? One for me and two friends” LOL 😂

    Ha ha, let me dial the White House tonight and get him on the phone, if he doesn't come through for us all, I can guilt him: "But, Joe, you promised me 49 years ago!!!"

    Better yet, photocopy that letter and send it to the White House. Highlight that last line then handwrite below “yes Joe, you can be of assistance to me, and since you said at any time - well now is the time — please do me a favor and send me three personally signed photos - one for me and the other two for two friends of mine. It would be greatly appreciated.” 😉

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,750 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Better yet, photocopy that letter and send it to the White House. Highlight that last line then handwrite below “yes Joe, you can be of assistance to me, and since you said at any time - well now is the time — please do me a favor and send me three personally signed photos - one for me and the other two for two friends of mine. It would be greatly appreciated.” 😉

    I do have a thru-the-mail autograph of his sister Valerie Biden Owens, I remember her as his campaign manager in his Senate races. She sent back a handwritten note almost 9 years ago. Not as much in-demand, but probably more authenticatable.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 12, 2021 2:29PM

    @ernie11 said:
    I do have a thru-the-mail autograph of his sister Valerie Biden Owens, I remember her as his campaign manager in his Senate races. She sent back a handwritten note almost 9 years ago. Not as much in-demand, but probably more authenticatable.

    Excellent content AND handwritten! Love it!

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 12, 2021 3:07PM

    @JMS1223 said:

    @ernie11 said:

    @JMS1223 said:

    @ernie11 said:

    @JBK said:
    He said in his letter it was OK to call on him "at any time".

    Now would be good. Tell him a few people here would like his autograph. :D

    I'm here rolling with laughter!

    Not sure if you read my story in the other thread (Autograph stories…) about me calling Tim Murray, but if you have -

    Maybe you should try calling Joe Biden tonight and ask “can you send me three autographs? One for me and two friends” LOL 😂

    Ha ha, let me dial the White House tonight and get him on the phone, if he doesn't come through for us all, I can guilt him: "But, Joe, you promised me 49 years ago!!!"

    Better yet, photocopy that letter and send it to the White House. Highlight that last line then handwrite below “yes Joe, you can be of assistance to me, and since you said at any time - well now is the time — please do me a favor and send me three personally signed photos - one for me and the other two for two friends of mine. It would be greatly appreciated.” 😉

    The letter says "Dear Friend" so there is no name attached. Send a copy to @JMS1223 - you know she'd contact him. ;):D

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    Just remembered a deal I almost got but it got away.

    Sometime in 2010, I believe, I was on a different autograph forum and offered to trade one of my two George Bush signed bookplates (I purchased a lot of two hand signed Bush bookplates for under $200). Since I didn’t need two I figured I could offer one for trade to get an autograph I didn’t have. I created a list of other items I was trading as well and made a list of autographs I wanted.

    A day or two later someone messages me saying they have a Neil Armstrong signed index card they got ttm that they would be willing to trade me for the George Bush bookplate. They didn’t know how to post pictures or scans online so they offered to mail me a photocopy of it in the mail. I figured it was worth waiting to see it first before I agreed since I had no idea what it looked like. Was probably an autopen anyway.

    I received the photocopy in the mail, a rather good full color photocopy too which surprised me. It was absolutely authentic. Nice blue signature, not personalized but faded a little on a yellowed index card. Still I knew it was good and couldn’t get to my computer quick enough to message him saying we had a deal.

    He messages me back saying he was just reading the forums and just realized Armstrong no longer signed ttm so he decided to cancel the trade. I knew it was probably too good to be true but it seemed like this guy really was going to do this trade had he not been browsing the forums reading about who no longer signs ttm.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    :o
    A GB (HW or W, either way) for a NA??

    That trade might have landed you in jail for highway robbery! :D

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    :o
    A GB (HW or W, either way) for a NA??

    That trade might have landed you in jail for highway robbery! :D

    I should clarify, it was the 41st President, George HW Bush. It was actually an unused bookplate for his book A World Transformed signed in black ballpoint by George Bush and Brent Scowcroft. I can’t recall if the two I purchased were personalized to someone else but I almost think they were so that makes the deal even more incredible had it happened.

    I am thinking since the trader offered me the trade I might had been in good standing and not obligated to disclose that an Armstrong autograph is worth ten times or fifteen times as much as a Bush, especially since I had several items on my wish list that were equal in value to the Bush I was trading that he could had offered instead of Armstrong. I also had several items on my trade list that were of higher value that he could have chosen over the Bush, or even a combination thereof.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 16, 2021 1:22PM

    I forgot about those bookplates. I got one from GHWB (I think you had to send the book and they stuck it in). But for a while you could write to Gen. Scowcroft and he would send one, signed by both.

    Which reminds me - I wrote to Scowcroft when he was appointed to a position in the GHWB White House (maybe Natl Security Adviser). He wrote back a nice typed letter on the small size WH stationery they used to use sometimes to thank me. I had addressed my letter to Gen. Snowcroft, but he didn't hold that against me. :smile:

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,750 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 17, 2021 10:26AM

    Better yet, photocopy that letter and send it to the White House. Highlight that last line then handwrite below “yes Joe, you can be of assistance to me, and since you said at any time - well now is the time — please do me a favor and send me three personally signed photos - one for me and the other two for two friends of mine. It would be greatly appreciated.” 😉

    What's more of interest is how Joe does his signature these days. I just saw this letter he signed, in my news feed on Facebook. I clipped his signature from his letter and placed it here.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, I never saw that as Senator.

    It might have something to do with the legality or formality of the office. I recall that it was a bug deal for Jimmy Carter to still sign official documents even as a candidate - I think he needed to get special clarification or permission.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    @ernie11 said:

    Better yet, photocopy that letter and send it to the White House. Highlight that last line then handwrite below “yes Joe, you can be of assistance to me, and since you said at any time - well now is the time — please do me a favor and send me three personally signed photos - one for me and the other two for two friends of mine. It would be greatly appreciated.” 😉

    What's more of interest is how Joe does his signature these days. I just saw this letter he signed, in my news feed on Facebook. I clipped his signature from his letter and placed it here.

    That is what the pre-printed Biden signature looked like on the stimulus letters.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 727 ✭✭✭✭

    Really kicking myself for not taking advantage of the Martin Luther King Jr. signed program I could have purchased for $1800 five years ago. Seeing that this signed album page was estimated to sell for $2000 and is ALREADY at $3000 with lots of TIME still left…and this one is PERSONALIZED…I can’t imagine what that non-personalized signed program would bring today. He sold it for $5000 but I think it might actually be worth $10,000+ now considering it had a beautiful signature like this, was on a better item and it was not personalized. Really wish I had a picture of the program so you could see what a fool I was for not buying it for $1800.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 12,203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 22, 2021 6:27PM

    MLK is probably one of those historical autographs that has sharply appreciated in the past several years as more people entered the hobby. (One of the few hobbies that has seen its collector base increase in recent years).

    I doubt I'll ever own his unless I get lucky. Some years ago someone on Antiques Roadshow had a fantastic content letter that they bought in a folder of letters for almost nothing at a yard sale. I'm holding out for one of those deals. :smiley:

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