The World’s Most Expensive Autographs

by Tony Joshie

We all idolize certain prominent people, whether they be artists, statement, or athletes. Even some people spend an enormous amount of money to acquire their past possessions or, in some cases, their signatures. Many followers and fans of celebrities most times crave to obtain their autograph at all costs. These autographs obtained can be stored in a safe place and later sold when the value increases.

Having autographs provides a good investment opportunity. The value of some items which have an autograph on them is sure to increase in the future, making it a brilliant decision to invest in rare autographs. eBayoffers autographs of famous figures in many fields such as sports, movies, politics, and many more for sale. You can also carry out some research and then decide to invest in some unique autograph that stands an excellent chance of increasing in price in the future, thereby allowing you to make a good profit from your investment.

Summary of The World's Most Expensive Autographs

Summary of The World's Most Expensive Autographs
Summary of The World's Most Expensive Autographs
Names Autographed Materials Price
George WashingtonGeorge Washington annotated Constitution.$9.8 Million
Robert F. KennedyRobert F. Kennedy's Copy Of The Emancipation Proclamation$3.7 Million
Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln's Letter$3.4 Million
U.K Rock IconsRock Star Guitar$2.7 Million
Babe RuthBabe Ruth's Yankees Contract$2.3 Million
Button GwinnettObscure Founding Fathers' Signatures$722,500
John LennonJohn Lennon's Murderer Signed LP$525,000
James JoyceBanned First Edition Of 'Ulysses'$398,000
Babe RuthBabe Ruth's Baseball$388,375
Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix's Contract$200,000
Joe DiMaggio & Marilyn MonroeJoe DiMaggio & Marilyn Monroe Baseball$191,200
Albert EinsteinAlbert Einstein's Tongue Photo$75,000
Jimmy PageJimmy Page's Guitar$73,000
David BowieDavid Bowie Handwritten Lyrics$63,000
Jesse JamesJesse James's Photo$52,000

Top Most Expensive Autographs in Detail

1. George Washington's Annotated Constitution

George Washington's Annotated Constitution (
George Washington's Annotated Constitution (

Price: $9.8 Million

The first president of the United States, George Washington, kept a bound volume of Congress's acts that includes the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, which has his signature of handwritten annotations and ownership in the margins. In 2012, the historical book was sold at an auction for an astonishing $9.8 million. The auction of this historic book only lasted for five minutes. The successful bidder who bought it was a member (Ann Bookout) from a non-profit organization, Vernon Ladies Association. After the book was purchased, the signed copy was placed in the white house at the Washington presidential library.

2. Robert F. Kennedy's copy of the Emancipation Proclamation

Robert F. Kennedy's copy of the Emancipation Proclamation (thehistoryblog)
Robert F. Kennedy's copy of the Emancipation Proclamation (thehistoryblog)

Price: $3.7 Million

In 1864, which was a year before the death of President Abraham Lincoln, he signed the forty-eight copies of the Emancipation Proclamation that brought an end to slavery in the United States. 26 out of the 48 copies of this document are known to have survived till today. They are on display in museums, universities, and a few are in private hands.

A copy of the emancipation proclamation document was sold in 1991 for an amount of $750k. David Rubenstein, a millionaire, bought another one for $2 million. In 2010, one of the copies that Bobby Kennedy once owned was put up for sale, which was purchased by an anonymous buyer at an astonishing amount of $3.7 million, making it the most expensive autograph back then.

3. Abraham Lincoln's Letter

Abraham Lincoln's Letter (slate)
Abraham Lincoln's Letter (slate)

Price: $3.4 million

The origin writings of Abraham Lincoln have always fetched high prices. But in 2008, at Sotheby's auction, the record was set when a letter was sold for a massive $3.4 million.

The letter was a response to a petition signed by 195 children demanding that all little slave children in America are freed. In the letter, Abraham Lincoln, who is the 16th president of the United States, replied that he trusts they remember only God has the will to grant all requests.

4. Rock Star Guitar

Rock Star Guitar (stringjoy)
Rock Star Guitar (stringjoy)

Price: $2.7 million

The world record for the most expensive guitar sold at an auction is Fender Stratocaster, which was signed by a collection of United Kingdom rock icons, including Brian May, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Mick Jaggar, Keith Richards, and Paul McCartney. The guitar was sold at an auction in Qatar for $2.7 million, and the payment was given to charity.

5. Babe Ruth's Yankees Contract

Babe Ruth's Yankees Contract (cbs)
Babe Ruth's Yankees Contract (cbs)

Price: $2.3 million

In 1919, Babe Ruth joined the New York Yankees have left Boston Red Sox. He made many baseball records during his first 15 seasons with the team. About 100 years later, the league history contract Babe Ruth signed with the Yankees was sold in 2017 at an auction for $2.3 million, which is the highest for sports documents.

6. Obscure Founding Fathers' Signatures

Obscure Founding Father's Signature (yahoo)
Obscure Founding Father's Signature (yahoo)

Price: $722,500

Button Gwinnett is an unpopular personality but among America's pioneering heroes. He wasn't famous before the continental Congress but died some months later after signing the Declaration of Independence. Only 51 of his signatures are in existence. One of his signature, which was on a business document, was sold in an auction in New York for $722,500

7. John Lennon's Murderer Signed LP

Price: $525,000.

Beatles star John Lennon was mysteriously killed in 1980 by Mark David Chapman (a mentally troubled fan), who John signed an autograph on one of the copies of the newly released album "Double Fantasy." Later on, he went back and fired five gunshots at John Lennon, which led to his early death at the age of 40. An unknown man found the signed album near the place of the murder, and he sent it to the police. It was later returned to the man, and in 2003, the album was worth $525,000.

8. The banned first edition of 'Ulysses.'

Price: $398,000

James Joyce, an Irish author's seminal piece "Ulysses" was prohibited in the United Kingdom and the United States when released in 1922 due to the sexually explicit content, making it difficult to get the early copies, which was kind of expensive. A signed copy of the novel was sold at an auction in London in 2009 for 275,000 pounds.

9. Babe Ruth's Baseball

Price: $388,375

With a baseball career laden with records breaking from 1914-1935, Babe Ruth was popularly named the 'Sultan of Swat.' During his active days as a baseball player, he signed many baseballs in which one of them in 2014 was sold for $250k. This price wasn't a surprise considering the huge fan base he had. However, of all his baseball collectibles, one of the baseballs signed by him was sold in 2012 for an astonishing amount of $388,375, which made the baseball one of the most expensive ever sold in history.

10. Jimi Hendrix's Contract

Price: $200,000

Jimi Hendrix was a talented musician who died at the early age of 27 years back in 1970 due to his addiction to alcohol and 'hard drugs.' Before he died, he signed a contract in 1965, where he agreed that he would only receive $1 and 1% of recording royalties from his music.

After his death, his music continued topping the music chart, which was the core reason why his contract became original memorabilia and was sold for $200k in an auction just a few years after being signed.

11. Joe DiMaggio & Marilyn Monroe Baseball

Price: $191,200

Joe DiMaggio, a New York Yankee baseball star and his wife, actress Marilyn Monroe was one of the most talked-about relationships of the 20th century in the United States. In 1961, during a training section in Yankees, they both signed a baseball, which led to the high sale of its which was $191,200 during an auction in 2006, purchased by an anonymous collector.

12. Albert Einstein's Tongue Photo

Price: $75,000.

Albert Einstein, a scientific research fanatic on his 72nd birthday, which took place at the Princeton University in March 1951, stuck out his tongue in a photograph taken by Authur Sasse, a press photographer. Albert signed two of the many copies given to him, which was sold at an auction for $75k.

13. Jimmy Page's Guitar

Price: $73,000

Led Zeppelin founder and record producer, Jimmy Page, signed a guitar (Gibson EDS-1275 model), which was in 1963 bought by an anonymous buyer at the price of $55,000. The guitar remains functional and playable.

14. David Bowie Handwritten Lyrics

Price: $63,000

David Bowie, an actor, and Musician took rock and roll to the next level during his lifetime before he died of cancer. His talent in writing fantastical lyrics as a musician was incredible. Ever since he died, his signature has turned out to become more treasured and valuable. His handwritten and the lyrics which he signed in 1973 song "The Jean Genie" was sold for $63,000.

15. Jesse James's Photo

Price: $52,000

Jesse James, a notorious fugitive in the United States during the 19th century, earned a status as a Robin Hood who robbed the rich and gave to the poor. He and his gang of robbers wreaked havoc between 1866 to 1876 perpetrating a series of robberies worldwide.

He was shot dead by a police officer, Robert Ford, after the Governor of Missouri gave a decree that James should be killed or apprehended. James seldom signed anything, but his signed photograph was sold for $52k.


Autographs, especially from prominent personnel, are a good investment opportunity. It makes sense if you have some signed materials of celebrities stored, which can become a luxury for you shortly.

About Tony Joshie

Tony's journey as a blogger began several years ago when he discovered his love for the visual arts. Fascinated by the stories behind the masterpieces and the artistic techniques employed by renowned artists, he started sharing his thoughts and interpretations on his blog.

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