Ronald Reagan’s autograph is among the most popular of any US president. He’s the most sought-after modern president aside from JFK.
There are a few interesting factors that affect growth in his market.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to buy or sell a Ronald Reagan autograph.
There are two Reagans
Long before he was elected President of the United States in 1980, Reagan had enjoyed a successful career as a film and TV actor.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
It was a lengthy career too. He appeared in more than 18 movies between 1937 and 1964.
So, his autograph can be split into two distinct periods.
His Hollywood years and his political career (from his 1965 appointment as Governor of California to his death in 2004).
Interestingly, demand is far lower for his Hollywood period. You can own a good signed photo for less than $1,000.
Compare that with a signed photo from his presidency, which starts at around $2,000.
This indicates the vast majority of Reagan buyers want to own his signature for idealogical reasons. He is, after all, the greatest icon of the modern American Conservative movement.
Presidential signatures are in high demand
Presidents are signing documents and letters all the time.
So, you’d think there would be plenty to go round. But like most modern presidents, Reagan handed over responsibility for signing the bulk of his communications to his secretaries.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
One in particular, Helene Von Damm, signed for him throughout his presidency.
And she did an excellent job.
Even seasoned experts find it very difficult to distinguish between a Van Damm and a Reagan.
That said, Reagan did often write letters to friends and colleagues. Reagan was a famously talented speaker and his passion comes across well in his writing.
As usual, collectors are particularly keen on handwritten specimens – but a typed letter can be valuable depending on the content. A fine example connected with a key event from his presidency will set you back around $10,0000.
Reagan has a distinct market
As with most US presidents, Reagan’s market is almost entirely US-based.
That’s not to say there aren’t collectors abroad.
But the vast majority of sales take place in the US and most buyers are Americans. The market is very mature, with practically all major auction houses dealing in his signature.
His popularity with American Conservatives means that his market skews wealthier than for other modern presidents.
This results in higher prices paid for his memorabilia.
Competition is always fierce for top quality examples.
As always, when buying a Ronald Reagan autograph be sure to only consider respected dealers and auction houses.
Fakes and secretarials are rife and if you purchase from an unscrupulous seller you risk losing a substantial sum of money.
PS. Do you have a Ronald Reagan autograph you’re looking to sell? I may be able to help. Get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org.