The Exciting World Of Autograph Collecting
The hobby of collecting autographs scaled to new heights of popularity during the 1980s. Earlier on it was only children who asked celebrities for their autographs. However, soon people from all age groups began to get interested in philography. Seeing the huge market potential of autographs as memorabilia, the dealers and celebrities started charging money for their signatures and a once innocent hobby became a commercial venture.
The history of autographs is rather interesting. When you flip through the pages of history you realize that being given an autograph by the aristocracy was considered a huge honor in East Asia. An item, which had a high official’s signature, was considered to be of high value. In China during dynastic rule, the emperor’s autograph was considered priceless and selling of such an item was considered a criminal offense!
There are many famous personalities who always oblige their fans by signing autographs free of cost. This makes them more popular and helps retain the innocence of the hobby. Some extremely popular kids’ idols like Hillary Duff are known to willingly sign autographs for their fans. In fact Hillary Duff publicly lashed out to those teen idols that avoid signing for free. There are many high profile people who do not want to distribute their autographs for free. Sportsmen like the late Joe DiMaggio and Barry Bonds are a couple of players who belong to this category. As a matter of fact Michael Jordan could not give autographs to his innumerable and frenzied fans throughout his career, which is worth a lot of money.
The demands for celebrities’ autographs have always been steep. Dealers usually present several photographs for the celebrity to sign and then sell those pictures. Many dealers even go to the extent of finding out a celebrity’s residential address and then write to him/her asking for their autographs many times! Many celebrities are in the habit of maintaining records of how many autographs they provide and to which person. This helps them know if the person who is requesting for their signature is a genuine fan or just a dealer who wants to make money by selling their autographs.
The most sought after celebrities, for their autographs, are those who are movie stars, musicians, singers, members of music groups, teenage idols, political leaders, social and religious leaders, award winning scientists, popular and/or award wining authors and astronauts.
Different hobbyists like to collect signatures of celebrities in specialized or specific fields. These could be Nobel Prize winning authors, religious leaders, politicians, scientists, or mathematicians. The specifics of the collections are a matter of individual choice and liking.
While autographs may be worth hundreds of dollars for some, for a sincere hobbyist, his collection is a reflection of his admiration and loyalty for a celebrity and hence totally invaluable!