The Beckett Blog

The most expensive autograph ever? by Andy Broome

Infamous Cubs fan Steve Bartman was offered $25,000 to appear at this weeks National Sports Collectors Convention and sign one autograph.
Just one signature. Thats all. Pick up pen, sign, put down pen, pick up check.
Not a bad days work in my opinion.
Word comes this week that he will not be accepting the offer and will not show up at the National.
This offer raises an interesting question, what is the most expensive autograph in the world?

No Eric, its not your Josh Hamilton signed printing plate.

According to the webpage:
Profiles in History’s listing in the Guinness Book of Records: AUTOGRAPHS AND SIGNATURES
Most expensive The highest price ever paid on the open market for a single signed autograph letter was $748,000 on Dec. 5, 1991 at Christie’s, New York for a letter written by Abraham Lincoln on 8 Jan 1863 defending the Emancipation Proclamation. It was sold to Profiles in History of Beverly Hills, CA.”

While that certainly is a chunk of change for an autograph, the high price undoubtly has to do with the content of the letter and not the signature itself.
Apparently, some think the highest price paid for a single signature would be the scribblings of William Shakespeare.
There are 6 known copies of his signature, all locked away in institutions.  The six are:
One on a deposition in a legal case
One on his mortgage papers
Three in his will
One on a conveyance for a house in London

Several websites state that if an authentic copy of his ‘graph did surface on the market, expect to pay upwards of $5 million.

Didn’t the guy make his name by writing? There are only 6 examples of his sig? Geez, its probably time to start doing some hunting in England. Anyone pull up the floor boards in his house?