Houdini on autograph collecting and the value of Button Gwinnett

In the mid-1920's there was an autograph auction craze over Button Gwinnett documents and the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Because only 49 signatures of Gwinnett were known to exist at the time, prices reached over $15,000 for the rare signer from Georgia.

In this months RR Auction manuscript sale, we have a letter from Harry Houdini who writes of Gwinnett's value: "They were in a collection by a lady who tried to sell them for $50. and in the bunch there was a letter of Bouton Gwynette [sic], which alone is worth a great deal of money, irrespective of what it may contain. "

Houdini was certainly correct! In 2010, a Button Gwinnett offered at Sotheby's sold for $ 722,000.

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Tags: auction, button, gwinnett, harry, houdini, rr

Comment by william on October 10, 2012 at 1:43pm

I went to school with His Great Great Nephew John C Hinson

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