What is the rarest autograph?
#1 George Washington's Acts of Congress: $9.8 Million
The first place in this list of most expensive autographs belongs to George Washington's personal copy of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the First Congress. He signed the first page of this book which was put up for auction at Sotheby's in 2012.
One of the rarest sports autographs of all time is from Archibald “Moonlight” Graham. Only five of the baseball player's autographs are known to exist, including a check signed in 1963 that sold for $3,000 at an auction in 2008 and a 1906 minor league postcard with his signature that sold for $5,000 in 2015.
6. Billie Eilish. The singer said she stopped signing autographs in 2019 after overzealous autograph seekers made her uncomfortable. “It's something that I don't do because I used to, but I realized all anyone did was sell everything that I signed, so I stopped doing that,” she said.
A ball, of course! A basketball for basketball players, a baseball for baseball players, and so on and so forth. For any sports fan into collecting signed memorabilia, a signed ball would be the pinnacle of it all. Signed jerseys, posters and headshots are more common when it comes to superstar athletes.
What might be considered the oldest "autograph" is a Sumerian clay table from about 3100 BC which includes the name of the scribe Gar. Ama. No ancient written autographs have been found, and the earliest one known for a major historical figure is that of El Cid from 1098.
The value of a person's signature jumps massively in the immediate aftermath of their death and, depending on their long-term legacy, may fall again once the world has moved on or continue increasing. For instance, the best-performing signature of 2018 was Stephen Hawking.
Yes, there are athletes who have surpassed the billion-dollar mark in career-earnings, be it through their high-paying contracts and/or potential endorsements and sponsorship deals. But in terms of net worth, again, only three athletes have made it to the billionaires club.
Over time, autographs will fade if they're not taken care of appropriately and there's nothing worse than a beloved autograph fading and becoming unrecognizable. By storing them properly, you can rest assured that you'll avoid any heartbreak later down the line.
A commonality among sports fans – having things autographed – can impact the value of your card or memorabilia, and not always in the best way. “Basically every time an athlete signs their name, they're devaluing their autograph, because now there's more of the autographs out there of larger supply,” Provenzale said.
The Celebrity Memorabilia Index update for October 2022 reveals Steve Jobs to be the world's most valuable autograph with a very fine condition signed photograph valued at £35,000, up 16.67% in value, year-to-date.
Who has the best signature in the world?
1. George Washington. The first president of the United States had a signature that was very precise. It appears that each stroke was done carefully and gracefully.
The nearly half-million-dollar Brady sale broke the record set just weeks prior by another Brady jersey. At the tail end of 2021, a game-used, autographed Brady jersey from a game in October sold for $320,500 with NFL Auction -- where 100% of the proceeds went to charity (in this case, Brady's TB12 Foundation).
Autographs are big business and can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. How much a particular autograph is worth usually depends upon a couple of factors: the popularity or notoriety of the person in question and rarity. The more popular or notorious a person is, the more valuable the autograph.