Details of autograph history curious mind should know

autograph history

Although the popularity of autographs has declined somewhat with modernization, the popularity of autograph collecting was once significant. Still, collecting autographs is a fun hobby for many. Maybe on some occasion, the hobby that starts with taking the signature of a famous person, when it turns into an intense addiction, the person himself does not know! Many have had fun experiences of collecting signatures at book fairs. There are still many old people who look for pen and paper when they see a famous person. Such is the addiction of autograph hunting. Instantly they go back to their childhood days.

Today we shall tell you how the trend of taking autographs started in this world, and how to recognize the person by looking at the autograph.

What is an autograph?

The word ‘autograph’ means ‘one’s own writing’. Its origin is from the Greek word ‘autographos’. In that sense, any person writing something in his own hand means his autograph. But we usually use the term to mean ‘celebrity signature’.

When did the practice of taking autographs begin?

It is said that the practice of taking autographs began in Germany at the beginning of the sixteenth century. At that time a habit developed among the students of various German universities to collect signatures of famous people or especially their friends. Since then, the enthusiasm of taking autographs has spread all over the world. This autograph collection became so popular in Germany at the time that a small, long album, which was easy to carry in the pocket, soon appeared. These books were called ‘Alba Amicorum’. The British Museum has a large collection of these albums. There are signatures of famous people like the poet John Milton.

Various autographs of famous people

There are many variations in giving autographs among famous people. Some are satisfied with just signing, while others write various encouraging words along with the signature. In the Indian subcontinent, the practice of writing something with a signature was widely introduced by the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindranath had an extraordinary ability to write something immediately after signing.

‘Instead of writing, many people express love or greetings or just sign their names. But some people write something along with the signature, which gives the autograph another dimension. Sometimes autographs are accompanied by writings that are not just extras, but also food for thought. In course of time that quote got immortality in history. These rare signatures of world famous people are a rare treasure all over the world. And these autographs are more likely to be found in a museum than in a private collection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLMjCoSmnpQ

Instead of writing, many people express love or greetings or just sign their names. But some people write something along with the signature, which gives the autograph another dimension. Sometimes autographs are accompanied by writings that are not just extras, but also food for thought. In course of time that quote got immortality in history. These rare signatures of world famous people are a rare treasure all over the world. And these autographs are more likely to be found in a museum than in a private collection.

Why do people collect others’ signatures..?

Psychologists have offered various explanations for why people want to collect others’ signatures. But the most plausible explanation is the excitement of having a momentary proximity to famous people, the glory of keeping their handwriting in one’s collection. All these factors have made autograph collecting a very popular hobby.

The thrill of turning the pages of ledgers at one’s leisure and seeing the handwriting of famous people of that era and the satisfaction of being able to collect them must have given people great pleasure. Like many other hobbies, this too is often developed through the influence of others. A friend has one, so I’ll do an autograph book too, maybe the start of a huge collection.

All famous autograph hunters around the world

There is no shortage of famous people around the world to collect autographs. How large and varied their collection is, it cannot be imagined without seeing it. England’s Alfred Morrison is the most famous signature hunter. It is said of him that Morrison’s house consisted only of autographs, with little space for himself. He had so many autograph albums that they had separate catalogs. Picking several albums from that vast catalog, Morrison himself released some transcribed versions of selected autographs.

Copy of autograph

A ‘facsimile’ or ‘copy’ of an autograph, i.e. an exact copy of the signature on paper. Such compilations have come out in many countries of the world. England’s two gentlemen J. Netherclift and F. G. Netherclift surpasses everyone in this work. These two people are about father and son. From 1835 to 1865, during these 30 long years, they worked tirelessly, sometimes individually, sometimes together, releasing five massive albums. These included the signatures of famous people of that time and the past, and even many kings and queens of ancient times.

Autograph Auction:

Autograph auctions also created a stir in many places abroad. There are four main types of autographs sold in this auction.

C.S. (Cut Signature), D.S. (Document Signed), L.S. (Letter Signed) and A.L.S (Autograph Letter Signed).

  • C.S. (Cut Signature): This type of autograph is usually a signature torn from a letter or notebook.

*D.S. (Document Signed): The autograph of a famous person on a document that is relatively intact is included in this list.

*L.S. (Letter Signed): This type of autograph is the signature at the bottom of a typed letter.

*A.L.S (Autograph Letter Signed): A letter written and signed by one’s own hand.

These handwritten letters are usually the most expensive. Also, the price of an autograph at auction depends on several other factors. For example, whose autograph, how popular is it among the public, whether there was any big news or significant event behind the auctioned autograph, etc.

At one such auction in 1970, an entire letter written by Richard Nixon sold for $6,250, and a small note scribbled before a speech by Kennedy fetched $8,000. Here the autograph prices of the two presidents were determined based on their popularity.

This autograph is very profitable for advertisers. Authors in their books, singers often autograph concert tickets not only to please fans but also to increase sales. Therefore, autographs are no longer a hobby. Along with this comes the economic connection. Still, who doesn’t want to get an autograph from a favorite person or star!

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Author: Sadia Khanam Tonni

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