Autograph of king Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden (1594-1632)
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Autographs

An autograph is a document written entirely in the handwriting of its author, as opposed to a typeset document or one transcribed by an amanuensis or a copyist; the meaning overlaps with that of the word holograph. more...

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As the word is used by non-historians, it has come to mean a person's signature. This term is used in particular for the practice of collecting autographs of celebrities.

Customs

In East Asia, an autograph from famous gentry is regarded as an honour. The value of an item bearing a high official's autograph could rise incredibly. In imperial China, an autograph from an emperor was priceless but selling an item bearing it could be a criminal offense.

In Europe and North America, asking for a celebrity's autograph used to be seen as a child's activity up to only a few decades ago. The boom of collecting autographs as a hobby came during the 1980s, and, as a consequence, many memorabilia dealers took notice, and what used to be an innocent hobby lost that innocence as both dealers and celebrities began to charge money for their signatures (especially on personal checks).

Charging for autographs

It should be noted that many celebrities still enjoy signing autographs for free for the fans, keeping it a very interesting hobby to this day. Hilary Duff has gone as far as publicly lashing out at some of her fellow teen idol stars who avoid autograph collectors. Art Carney was another person who enjoyed signing autographs, until his passing in November of 2003.

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		1883 Mexican Telephone Co. Stock Certificate Signed by Fdr Namesake F. DelanoNew listing 1883 Mexican Telephone Co. Stock Certificate Signed by Fdr Namesake F. Delano $1.99 Pine Creek Railway Company Bond Certificate Signed by Vanderbilt & DePewPine Creek Railway Company Bond Certificate Signed by Vanderbilt & DePew $29.99
Elk City Mining and Milling 1891 Stock Certificate Portland Oregon Ex RareElk City Mining and Milling 1891 Stock Certificate Portland Oregon Ex Rare $385.00 New listing
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Pullmans Palace Car Company stock signed by G. PullmanPullmans Palace Car Company stock signed by G. Pullman $429.00 George J. Gould - Missouri, Kansas & Texs Railway CompanyGeorge J. Gould - Missouri, Kansas & Texs Railway Company $89.00
1899 Homestake Mining Company Stock Certificate Lloyd Tevis Signed Last Signed1899 Homestake Mining Company Stock Certificate Lloyd Tevis Signed Last Signed $314.10 Was: Previous Price $349.00 Chicago and Alton Railroad Company Income Bond - Samuel TildenChicago and Alton Railroad Company Income Bond - Samuel Tilden $139.00
The E.M.F. Oil and Refining Company Stock Certificate from 1919The E.M.F. Oil and Refining Company Stock Certificate from 1919 $27.99 Edison Cement Corporation Debenture Note - Charles EdisonEdison Cement Corporation Debenture Note - Charles Edison $169.00
Collis P. Huntington Signed Bond,Newport News and Mississippi Valley CompanyCollis P. Huntington Signed Bond,Newport News and Mississippi Valley Company $195.00 New listing
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Gold Hub Mines Company Stock Certificate From 1936Gold Hub Mines Company Stock Certificate From 1936 $29.99 1931 Splitdorf-Bethlehem Electrical Company - issued to "Thomas A Edison Inc."1931 Splitdorf-Bethlehem Electrical Company - issued to "Thomas A Edison Inc." $28.88
Jp Getty Pays His 1945 Taxes! Rare Original Wet Ink Autograph + Getty Oil StockJp Getty Pays His 1945 Taxes! Rare Original Wet Ink Autograph + Getty Oil Stock $199.96 Was: Previous Price $249.95 1850s John A. Dix-Signed Stock Certificate: Mississippi & Missouri Rail Road Co.1850s John A. Dix-Signed Stock Certificate: Mississippi & Missouri Rail Road Co. $124.99
Us Happy Chandler Autograph Letter Bb Commissioner CoaUs Happy Chandler Autograph Letter Bb Commissioner Coa $70.00 Was: Previous Price $100.00 1873 J. S. Casement - Toledo, Canada Southern and Detroit Rr Co. Stock1873 J. S. Casement - Toledo, Canada Southern and Detroit Rr Co. Stock $89.00
Overland Telegraph Co Original Genuine 1900 West Virginia Stock Certificate RareOverland Telegraph Co Original Genuine 1900 West Virginia Stock Certificate Rare $495.00 Wilmington and Northern Railroad Company Bond Signed by Henry A. duPontWilmington and Northern Railroad Company Bond Signed by Henry A. duPont $79.99
William Howard Taft - Internal Revenue StampsWilliam Howard Taft - Internal Revenue Stamps $839.00 1922 First National Bank Check Trinidad Colorado Aguilar Mayor Arthur Lindsey1922 First National Bank Check Trinidad Colorado Aguilar Mayor Arthur Lindsey $9.10 Was: Previous Price $13.00
new paper money album,paper money collection book,paper money stock Collection Hnew paper money album,paper money collection book,paper money stock Collection H $34.99 1888 Cincinnati Washington and Baltimore Stock Certificate Signed Orland Smith1888 Cincinnati Washington and Baltimore Stock Certificate Signed Orland Smith $29.95
1880-90's (9) Kidder,Peabody Signed Old Colony Railroad,Stock,Document Lot1880-90's (9) Kidder,Peabody Signed Old Colony Railroad,Stock,Document Lot $3.47 Cherry Tree Run & Oil Creek Signed by Future Nyc Mayor Wh Wickham 18,000 SharesCherry Tree Run & Oil Creek Signed by Future Nyc Mayor Wh Wickham 18,000 Shares $1,295.00
Ocean County Electric certificate signed Edmund S FritzOcean County Electric certificate signed Edmund S Fritz $19.99 Henry Algernon DuPont - Wilmington and Northern Railroad Co. Stock CertificateHenry Algernon DuPont - Wilmington and Northern Railroad Co. Stock Certificate $289.00
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Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company ~ George Jay Gould SignedMissouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company ~ George Jay Gould Signed $49.99 Gem Crisp Orig 1882 Standard Oil Stock signed by Jd Rockefeller, Flagler & WileyGem Crisp Orig 1882 Standard Oil Stock signed by Jd Rockefeller, Flagler & Wiley $4,995.00
1916 State Bank
00004000
 Check Rogers Texas National Dallas1916 State Bank 00004000 Check Rogers Texas National Dallas $7.00 Was: Previous Price $10.00 Stk-Toledo. Logansport & Burlington Ry 1865 s M K JesupStk-Toledo. Logansport & Burlington Ry 1865 s M K Jesup $15.00
Wholesale 10 Pedrazinni Mexico Senora Gold Silver Mine 1926 w 28 Coupons StampedWholesale 10 Pedrazinni Mexico Senora Gold Silver Mine 1926 w 28 Coupons Stamped $59.95 Russell Sage - Saint Joseph and Western Railroad Company StockRussell Sage - Saint Joseph and Western Railroad Company Stock $450.00
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		1922 Rogers-Brown Iron $1,000 Bond Signed William Rogers Buffalo Ny Iron TycoonNew listing 1922 Rogers-Brown Iron $1,000 Bond Signed William Rogers Buffalo Ny Iron Tycoon $1.99 1897 Stock certificate issued to Lehman Brothers - Hoboken Ferry Superb!1897 Stock certificate issued to Lehman Brothers - Hoboken Ferry Superb! $77.87
Xxx-Rare B. Manischewitz Stock w Jewish Images Signed By Manischewitz! Only HereXxx-Rare B. Manischewitz Stock w Jewish Images Signed By Manischewitz! Only Here $12.99 Was: Previous Price $16.24 Hydraulic-Press Brick St. Louis Missouri stock certificate H W Eliot autographHydraulic-Press Brick St. Louis Missouri stock certificate H W Eliot autograph $14.99
1954 Eisenhower Press Sec. L Sherman Adams Sig on Stock1954 Eisenhower Press Sec. L Sherman Adams Sig on Stock $35.00 Charlotte Motor Speedway, Inc. hand signed by Nascar Legend, Curtis Turner- 1959Charlotte Motor Speedway, Inc. hand signed by Nascar Legend, Curtis Turner- 1959 $250.00
Seattle Rainier Baseball Club, Inc. Stock Certificate Signed by Emil SickSeattle Rainier Baseball Club, Inc. Stock Certificate Signed by Emil Sick $199.99 American Merchants Union Express Company Stock Certificate Signed FargoAmerican Merchants Union Express Company Stock Certificate Signed Fargo $149.00
1904 San Francisco Bond-Eugene Edward Schmitz Autograph1904 San Francisco Bond-Eugene Edward Schmitz Autograph $149.99 1880 Winnebago & Ok Mining Central City Colorado Genuine Stock Certificate Rare1880 Winnebago & Ok Mining Central City Colorado Genuine Stock Certificate Rare $495.00
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