Autographs market - 2014 auction review

The autograph market continued to grow steadily in 2014, with strong prices set throughout the year. The PFC40 Autograph Index tracked an increase of 5.8% on last year for the most regularly traded autographs, and is up 13.2% per annum since 2000.

Top autograph sale of 2014

Caruso Enrico archive
Enrico Caruso was one of the world's greatest opera singers

A major archive of correspondence from the great Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) achieved �182,500 ($284,883) in London in November.

The lot included material documenting the major events of Caruso's life, making it highly desirable to collectors.

Important autograph sales of 2014


samuel Beckett letter
Beckett's letters trace the history of his theatrical career, as well as his personal life

A collection of letters written by author and playwright Samuel Beckett made �146,500 ($250,061) at Sotheby's London in July.

A scientific paper signed by Albert Einstein and referencing unified field theory achieved a strong figure of $150,000 at Profiles in History in December.

An archive of early letters by Jack Kerouac achieved $61,000 at Skinner in November.

An LAPD commissioner's phone signed by Rihanna made $57,000 for charity in an eBay sale (she dropped and broke it during a basketball game).

A letter from 18th century Scottish economist Adam Smith realised �37,500 ($63,852) in June.

It was a breakout year for…

Putin's autograph increased in value in 2014

Vladimir Putin, whose autograph increased in value by 25% this year, from �80 ($125) to �100 ($156), according to the PFC40 Autograph Index. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the Russian economy.

It was a year to forget for...

Prince Harry, whose autograph was publicly revealed to be worth a full �1,750 less than his older brother. Harry's signature is valued at �500 ($781). William's is �2,250 ($3,513), according to the PFC40 Autograph Index.


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