In his many years of collecting, one of my favorite things to find are celebrity autographs. Autographs from celebrities that I love to follow and identify with are often on cards or in hardcovers. These are just a few examples of the types of memorabilia that I enjoy for my collection. I also enjoy learning about their careers and who they are as a person, then doing my research to try to find some type of proof of authenticity. This is often an important step, especially with signed guitars, which are becoming more popular.
What type of autograph am I going to be looking for? Often times it is simply a pen or a pencil that has the name and signature of the famous person on it. Other times there may be small recognizances such as a tennis racket, golf club, bottle opener, watch, ticket stub or even a picture of the celebrity. Sometimes the autograph is located on a baseball cap, T-shirt or other small item. I try my best to determine if the signature is authentic before I purchase any autographs. It can sometimes be difficult to determine if the information presented is real or simply a clever marketing strategy by the celebrity.
Another thing that makes collecting these items so interesting is if the celebrity in question dies before the collectible piece goes on auction. Then you will find some very motivated fans who will go to great lengths to get their celebrity autograph. These autographs can be very valuable indeed and many times it is these true fans who bid on these pieces and make them even more valuable.
I am by no means an expert in this field, nor am I a collector of autographs. What I do know is that there are many different ways that these collectibles can be valued. Measuring the value of a signature can be tricky without knowing the type of autograph being examined. I do know that there are certain criteria that can be used to determine value. I will discuss those in a moment.
There is another way to assess the value of an autograph besides determining its rarity. The condition of the autograph is important. If an autograph is signed in an extremely poor condition, it may not be worth much. I have seen some examples of autographs that were signed in a very bad condition. These were signed with a pen that was crumpled, and the signature was illegible.
Some celebrities’ autographs can fetch unbelievable prices. I have seen memorabilia collectors pay thousands of dollars for a signature on a song by one of the top teenage music singers of all time. Obviously, the value of the autograph is based on the market value of the music and the desirability of the autograph.