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Both are said to be priceless. It's a sign of the times - the public's endless fascination with Celebrity has now gained credibility.
Shrewd investors are cashing in by collecting autographs and documents signed by the rich and famous. Like antiques, paintings or stamps, autograph collectors concentrate on particular areas such as historical personalities, film or sports stars, politicians, writers or scientists.
Adam Andrusier, the inspiration behind Zadie Smith's best-selling novel The Autograph Man, has collected famous signatures since he was years-old. He now deals in autographs mainly of historical, literary or political figures and says this market is currently buoyant, but has its fads and fashions.
Winston Churchill is always popular, in fact anyone who has made a contribution to history is a firm seller. His signature or scribble on a manuscript would be worth thousands.
He says collectors of historical autographs are looking for more than just the signature. But other historical documents sell as well. Owen believes this is because the market has come of age.
This is also a volatile mar ket and not all autographs hold their value. Now they're not worth half that.
Getting started in the autograph collecting business means doing your homework. Richard Davie became interested back in the early s. He now runs Autographs and Manuscripts International Ltd.
Davie advises potential collectors to buy into an area they are interested in. There are a lot of forgeries out there. One dealer says the current fashion in West End theatre for Hollywood stars could make hanging around the stage door profitable.
Celebrities vary widely in their approach to autograph hunters. American actor James Stewart was, in the words of one dealer, "probably the greatest autograph signer of all time". Instead of his name he often signed with a picture of Harvey the rabbit from his classic film in which he plays a drunk with an imaginary floppy eared friend.
Steve McQueen, on the other hand, refused to sign autographs.If you are paying a company you should check exactly how you should write their business' name on the cheque - this information is likely to be on your bill, statement or invoice.
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