Benjamin Franklin signed cheque valued at $20,000

A cheque signed by "Founding Father" Benjamin Franklin will star in an online sale of memorabilia at One of a Kind (Oak) Collectibles Auctions in Florida.

The lot carries an estimate of $18,000-20,000 ahead of the November 19 close date.  

Benjamin Franklin cheque
Benjamin Franklin wrote the cheque during his presidency of Pennsylvania in 1787 

The 1787 item is one of just two known specimens of a Franklin-signed cheque, a fact likely to send its price soaring.

"Franklin's signature is not necessarily rare but of course, always desirable and valuable. But, what makes this piece so special is when it comes to cheque collectors his is basically unobtainable," the auction house's David Gindy explained to Paul Fraser Collectibles.

"Other than a similar cheque at the Smithsonian Institute Numismatics Collection, this is the only one that we can find any records of."

It features a number of anti-counterfeiting measures, including marbled polychrome paper, introduced by Franklin himself. 

"From what we can tell this is the first anti-forging cheque and was created by the great inventor, printer and politician," says Gindy.

Also featuring in the sale is a piece of fabric from the Wright Brothers' Wright Flyer - the world's first successful powered aeroplane.

Wright fabric
The Wright Flyer first took to the skies in 1903

The one-and-a-quarter inch swatch is attached to a certificate signed by the brothers' niece Ivonette Wright Miller.

"It is one of those items that when you hold it, you really feel like you are holding history in your hands," explains Gindy.

It's expected to sell for $4,000-5,000.

A signed certificate of roll call and muster for Elmer Ellsworth, the first soldier killed in the American civil war, is valued at $5,000-7,000.

Elsworth was shot dead on May 24, 1861 when he attempted to remove a Confederate flag from a hotel in Alexandria, Virginia and the owner took umbrage.

We'll bring you all the key results from the sale right here.

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