A handwritten, signed letter written by American founding father and author of the American Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson has sold for $19,200.
The 1822 document was the star lot at Swann Auction Galleries' autograph auction, held yesterday evening (May 23) in New York.
The letter, addressed to James Madison, reads: "I thank you for the communication of Mr Rush's letters which I now return."
The greater part of its content relates to Alexander the Great of Russia who Jefferson has a rather low opinion of.
"Mr Bentham's [likely a reference to celebrated utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham] character of Alexander [the Great of Russia] is I believe just. he is now certainly become the watchman of tyranny for Europe, as dear to it's oppression as detestable to the oppressed."
Jefferson signs off: "I set out for Bedford tomorrow to be absent three weeks".
An autograph album containing over 300 signed and inscribed items also proved popular, making $15,200.
Politicians, musicians, authors and artists are represented in the album, which includes a Lewis Caroll autographed note, a Theodore Roosevelt autograph and brief letter from inventor extraordinaire Thomas A Edison.
Two typed and hand-signed letters composed by Nobel Prize winning physicist Albert Einstein brought $10,800, while a formal Albert Einstein autographed photograph sold for $7,500.
Autographs and important autographed documents are highly collectible, and tradable, commodities.
Our sister site, PFC Auctions, is currently accepting bids on a raft of rare autographs, including this fabulous Michael Jackson autographed fedora.
For auction insights straight to your inbox, sign up for the Paul Fraser Collectibles free weekly newsletter.