I just got word that the 1,421 lots that the Alexander Autographs auction of Jan. 20 and 21, blogged on AmeriCollector.com on Jan. 19, realized more than a million bucks.
“Once again we saw very spirited bidding for fresh, high-quality material,” says Bill Panagopulos, president of Alexander Autographs, located in Stamford, Conn. “Collectors and investors never really left the autograph market – on the contrary, they see better material as a good investment and a potential hedge against inflation, and as a result, we’re seeing prices that at times exceeded our estimates be a factor of five or ten times.”
I’m not one to recommend collecting as an investment: As Elyse Luray of “History Detectives” says (AmeriCollector.com, Jan. 27), “BUY WHAT YOU LOVE – hands down, buy what you love.” But there is buying dumb and buying smart, for as Elyse also points out: “BUY GOOD … I hate to tell to buy things for value, but if you do ever need to sell your collection or want to sell your collection, you want to have things in it that are actually the best of the best. If you can’t afford to do that in the beginning, then ‘buy up’: Buy what you can afford and then trade it when you can get to the next better piece.”
I myself have won several lots in Alexander Autographs’ past few auctions, including two in the last one, and each time I felt I got great value – which is why I recommended checking them out. While I encountered a couple of glitches with the live bidding part of the recent auction – for example, it wasn’t clear to me that live bidding, which was handled by Artnet, required separate registration (on the other hand, I was approved in less than an hour while the auction was already in progress); and one of my live bids was inexplicably “withdrawn” and I had to reenter it (I won the item in the end) – others apparently were apparently as eager to bid as I was and hopefully got similar happy results.
Here are some of them:
• A letter by Abraham Lincoln to the secretary of the Navy confirming an appointment to the Naval Academy sold for $28,000.
• A large autographed photo of General George Patton took in $6,000.
• A signed photo in silver presentation frame from Adolf Hitler to General Gerd von Rundstedt went for $55,000.
• A written wartime bet between Dwight Eisenhower and British general Bernard Montgomery (signed by both) over the date Germany would surrender fetched $26,000.
• The signed contract I described on Jan. 19 in which Michael Jackson transferred his rights to “We Are the World” sold for $14,000.
• A biography of Albert Einstein signed by him got $4,750.
• A George Gershwin letter with a quote from “Rhapsody in Blue” made $8,000.
• A menu signed by Walt Disney hammered at $1,900.
Watch AmeriCollector.com for news of Alexander Autographs’ next auction, or visit their Web site: (www.AlexAutographs.com).
Part I of Alexander Autographs Auction: www.americollector.com/alexander-autographs/
Image courtesy of Alexander Autographs.
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