Autographs market: 2012 auction review

The autographs sector is a market on the rise. Paul Fraser Collectibles' PFC40 Autograph Index reveals that values for the world's 40 most sought-after autographs grew by 4.37% between 2011 and 2012.

And this upward trend has been borne out by some major results this year across the world's auctions.

Top sale

Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation’s new owner is billionaire David Rubenstein

2012's leading results

Titanic band letter
"We have a fine band & the boys seem very nice"

It was a breakout year for…

This signed Nelson Mandela photo sold for $8,113

  • Nelson Mandela autographs. A black and white signed photograph of a young Nelson Mandela, valued at $4,460, sold in South Africa for $8,113 in November - suggesting that the market for Mandela is on the rise.

A year to forget for…

  • The Kray Twins. Letters and artwork from the notorious London gangsters' time in prison have swamped the market in recent years. And while fascination with the Krays remains high, demand is nevertheless insufficient for the sheer number of autographs out there, as seen by the meagre �200 ($325) price for a 20-page handwritten signed document from Reggie in August.

One you may have missed

  • The first Richard III signed document to appear for 40 years sold for �109,250 ($168,900) in June. It had last changed hands for $850 in May 1960, corresponding to a 10.7% pa increase.

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King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
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