Autograph Album, ca. 1850

Value (2013) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

I have an autographed book that was in my father's house in Maine. The house had been in the family since 1790. He was the seventh generation. One of his great-aunts in 1850 to 1860-- that time frame-- went around the Washington area and collected a lot of autographs.

I have to say it's quite tattered and worn, but once I started opening the pages, there were some pretty wonderful things. A Longfellow autographed letter with a beautiful signature done at the bottom. And then on the next page is a little card that was pasted down that's from Abraham Lincoln. And I thought, "Well, that's an awfully good beginning. Let's see what else we can find here." Much to my surprise, on one page is not only Sam Houston's autograph, but Andrew Johnson's autograph as well. I just think that that's an interesting juxtaposition of having Andrew Johnson, one of the presidents, and then having Sam Houston with his splashy signature. It goes on, and lo and behold, a page later is a Jefferson Davis signature down towards the bottom of the page. But I have to tell you what really knocked my socks off was down towards the end of the album. After all the political figures, there is the signature of Stephen Foster, one of America's great songwriters. And that gives this album a little extra oomph at auction. It's something that I think would be in the ball park of $6,000 to $8,000.

Wow! That's wonderful.

Appraisal Details

Marsha Malinowski Fine Books and Manuscripts LLC
Update (2013)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Appraised value (1999)
$6,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Baltimore, MD (June 19, 1999)

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