I have just joined this site and thought i'd jump in and try to start a discussion. I'd be interested to know anybody's thoughts and to be set straight. Are there are any signers who you think are incorrectly valued ? I know that in a way value is defined at auction and by actual results, as the effects of supply and demand kick in. However there have been a few signers who have always seemed to me to have achieved surprisingly strong or weak results in comparison to their contemporaries.
1) Phillip ii of Spain. (undervalued ?)
I recently narrowly missed out on the chance to acquire an unsigned but fully handwritten note by Phillip ii for $250.00. This note 400 years old was untranslated so who knows its potential significance. my logic says that apart from being synonymous with Elizabeth and the failure of the Spanish armada, Phillip was previously a British co-monarch himself, and Arguably the most powerful man in the world during his reign of Spain, he also has a nation named after him in the Phillipines. Considering the value of a comparable note signed by say Elizabeth i, sir Francis drake ,or even Elizabeth's courtiers he seems cheap . I was recently lucky enough to be able to buy a signed letter (and actually quite significant in content) or a yo el ray as the Spanish monarchs sign at RR'S last auction. I paid a little more than usual, $1150.00 but i think Phillip would have been quite dismayed and hurt to see Elizabeth sell for 40 times that amount in the same auction ! I know that IAA are introducing a Spanish/Iberian auction and it would be interesting to see how he would fare in the Spanish market.
2) Chaing kai shek. (undervalued ?) I struggle to understand the disparity between (given his significance in Chinese history) him and others notably Chou en lai, mao tse tsung and sun yat sen who seemingly can all reach $20,000 ish + . Maybe he is much more abundant but given the potential demographics, and the inclination of the Chinese for collecting, surely all of these names are going be subject to potentially unheard of demand/ making this less relevant. I will continue to speculatively pay £200 all day long for his signed photos, especially with letters of transmittal or Chinese government stamped envelopes.
I'd love to hear any perspectives about what you see as being a good investment etc or overvalued whatever the field! thanks for reading my thoughts. tom
You picked a great topic, because whenever you invest speculatively (not relying on predictable ordinary income like rent or interest), you need to try to predict the future. 20th century Chinese artists that barely brought $1,000 20 years ago can bring millions today.
In 1994, University Archives sold one of three copies of the Apple formation contract, signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. I don't know what it sold for, but estimates are that it was worth in the 5-figures. It recently sold for about $1.6 Million.
I don't know how many documents Phillip II signed, but at $1150, I think it's a good risk.
What do you consider overpriced?
Thanks for the reply Steve . I love historical autographs, so my tendency is to see the field as being undervalued. I guess for me its hard to understand the demand for lee Harvey Oswald, I don't remember what his coffin went for but it seemed crazy. I guess i never grew up with JFK's assassination in my historical consciousness.
Look at how high a Hank Aaron autograph is now. I remember as a kid buying a Hank Aaron autographed ball AT walmart for less than $20 and that was less than 20 years ago. Look how high it is today and he is still alive.
The Steve Jobs contact is a little more complicated than that.
Suffice it to say that my client made more than $1million on a wise purchase. Timing is everything and fortunately I alerted him to sell at the exact right time and this is why it came to market. The price exceeded my wildest dreams. I think most interesting is that if my client purchased Apple stock at this time (and it was very distressed) he would not have done near as well as he did by buying this document.
The description of this item is here and it is a great read : http://www.sothebys.com/en/ecat/lot.render.html/2011/fine-books-man...
20k for Mao , really ?
in the right format basically anything but a clipped signature yeah quite easily i think.