"None of my other investments give me the joy that autographs do because they make me feel that I am holding a piece of history in my hands."
Malcolm Forbes, Forbes magazine
You are probably unaware that Malcolm Forbes, J.P. Morgan and Bill Gates have got something in common and it is not the value of their stock portfolio. Their common denominator is that they all owned, or still own, a large autograph collection.
Forbes, for example, began collecting autographs when he was 15. At his death at 70 in 1990, Forbes owned 4,000 American presidential autographs and manuscripts, the largest and most important collection in private hands, worth $35 million to $55 million.
His collection was superseded by breath-taking collection of Lou Lehrman and Richard Gilder who together accumulated over 60,000 historical letters, manuscripts and books – today on permanent loan with the New York Historical Society.
There are a number of other collectors who made the autographs work for them: Phil Sang – famous Americana collector, David Gainsborough Roberts with his remarkable Marilyn Monroe memorabilia collection and Gérard Lhéritier – the initiator of the recently opened Parisian Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits – to name only a few.
Autograph collecting and investing is open to anyone who has an interest in some form of history, human endeavour or achievement. Collecting is a passion going back millennia. What drives this passion is the love of great stories, the value of something unique. As history rolls on, the greatest narratives grow in mystique…and therefore in value.
Autographs and manuscripts are a broader asset class than you think – spanning ancient scripts to sportswear signed in marker pen. They give you opportunity to hold history in your hands – Albert Einstein writing about the theory of relativity, Mozart’s compositions in his own hand, handwritten poems and lyrics, documents of surrender, resignation and even abdication – movements in history captured on paper. You can own some truly incredible items.
Autographs are also a great diversification. The best examples enjoy stable growth over time – uncorrelated with other assets…, even other alternatives like stamps or coins. They outperform many mainstream investment options.
We are sure you have plenty of questions to ask and we will attempt to answer as many as we can here.
Please read on by clicking on the links below or alternatively feel free to call us for friendly advice.