Demand for Alan Turing's autograph has exploded.
He was one of history’s greatest minds.
Not only did he help bring the Second World War to a swift conclusion, he also established the foundations for computer science.
Let’s explore some of the factors affecting the value of his signature.
Computers are mainstream
If you were to profile the wealthiest people in the world, you’d find a large number made their money from the internet.
They’re software tycoons and retail magnates, presiding over truly global empires.
Turing is a hero in the tech world.
His work in computing, mathematics and artificial intelligence laid the groundwork for the innovations we enjoy today.
There has undoubtedly been an influx of new money in his market over the past decade. The record stands at $1m, set in 2015 for a notebook he used to jot down mathematical ideas.
In 2017, a postcard supposedly including a hidden message realised £28,000 ($35,937).
I have no doubt that at least some of the buyers competing for these pieces made their fortunes in technology.
Up until 1967, homosexuality was illegal in the UK.
And, despite his phenomenal contribution to the war effort, when the establishment discovered Turing was gay it wasted no time in ruining his life.
He was forced to undergo chemical castration and fired from his consultancy role at GCHQ. Two years later, he was found dead at his home in Cheshire. He was 41 years old.
As Turing died young and much of his work was top secret, quality examples of his handwriting and autograph are extremely rare. Competition for the few items on the market is intense.
Turing’s work on the Enigma code, code-named Ultra, is estimated to have shortened WW2 by up to two years.
Millions of soldiers and civilians on both sides owe their lives to his work.
But the project was kept top secret for many years after the war.
Turing didn’t become a household name until the British government declassified Ultra in the 1970s.
This widened the demand for his autograph.
His appeal isn't limited to those with an interest in computing. Instead it extends to a wider range of institutions and collectors.
PS. Do you have an Alan Turing autograph you’re looking to sell? I may be able to help. Get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org.