Is a signed Sarah Palin Xbox worth $1.1m?

Canadian David Morrill is nothing if not persistent.

For two and a half months now he has been trying to sell an Xbox games console signed by ex-Governor Sarah Palin with a minimum price of $1.1m, and shows no sign of altering it.

One time Vice-Presidential candidate and ex-Alaskan Governor Palin is certainly someone who has attracted a great deal of interest from many people.

In the summer, a chance to have dinner with her was auctioned for $68,000.

Nevertheless, there are several reasons why Morrill's price - which some have dubbed "Grand Theft Autograph" - is not realistic.

Firstly, there are very few autographs in existence worth $1.1m.

Secondly, Palin has not yet done anything to make her count as a historical figure.

Thirdly, the Xbox brings little memorabilia value - the console apparently has no link whatsoever to Sarah Palin, nor is their an evidence that Palin has an enthusiasm for video games.

One time Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin: a fan of shoot 'em ups?

Fourthly, Palin is still able and willing to sign autographs, meaning they are not rare and therefore not very valuable.

Ordinary political figures' signatures are not worth a great deal.

The average member of Congress has an autograph worth about $10-20, because few people are collecting them.

The only living political figure in America whose autograph is worth a significant amount is Barack Obama's.

The President's signature commands a few thousand dollars.

In comparison, a signature of Fidel Castro might be worth something in that range. But, generally, signatures of iconic political figures of the past are worth much more.

For example, someone might pay many thousands of dollars for some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. In fact the most valuable of all political signatures belongs to a certain Button Gwinnett, the second signer.

Gwinnett, a representive of Georgia who died as the result of injuries sustained in a duel, has a signature worth up to $500,000. This is primarily because his signatures are extremely rare, and many people want a complete set of signatures for the Declaration.

(Morrill has specified that he will not accept a sum of less than seven figures for the games console, so $500,000 wouldn't even come close.)

The renowned publisher Malcolm Forbes once paid $231,000 for Abraham Lincoln's autographed last speech.

Autograph dealers believe the Palin signature is unlikely to be worth $1,000, and even if a letter existed signed by her including one of her famous quotes - such as her famous goof about the proximity of Russia to Alaska - it would not be worth more than $5,000.

The Xbox was simply offered for signing at a picnic. Perhaps if Palin had played on it during her Vice-Presidential debate it might be worth more.

Morrill remains adamant. He is certain the value will rise if Palin runs for President, which he's sure she will, and he has received offers as high as $10,000, albeit not ones he's certain are genuine.

Even a matter of days ago, someone asked him a fresh question about the item: "Does it come with controllers?" The answer: "No".

Collectors interested in American political autographs might wish to consider these more reasonably priced items: a program from a John F Kennedy campaign dinner, an Abraham Lincoln Civil War commission and a land survey signed by a young George Washington.

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