Why Do People Collect Famous Signatures?

May 9, 2012 · Posted in Hobbies · Comment 

Everybody on this planet has a hobby. Whether we like it or not, we all have an activity we do to pass the time; something done simply for the pure delight of it. It is indelibly ingrained into our being, and is an important component of the human experience though in every person it will be articulated in different ways.

Perhaps you take pleasure in sports, travel, relaxation, reading or collecting. However it manifests itself, it is your hobby; the thing you do simply because you love to. The dictionary generally defines the term as simply that – An activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.

The person who chooses to engage in the collection of autographs (meaning here mainly letters, historical documents and manuscripts) understands they are collecting a segment of a past story. It may be one of extreme historical significance or a simple, personal letter, but whatever the case, the item tells a story. It reaches into the past and provides a rare and authentic look into the lives of the people who lived there. Such items have the special distinction of being unhindered by future interpretations, historical analysis and changing cultural tastes and worldviews.

The autographed item therefore presents us with a clear glimpse into that instant, that world and that person as they were.

However, analyzing history and understanding the past are merely a couple of the reasons why collectors select this hobby. Many choose simply to collect signature cuts from notable individuals or personal effects such as garments and hats.

Generally these items have little to offer in the way of analysis or historical understanding, nevertheless they do supply the collector the chance to touch a piece of history and this can be a very powerful experience. For many enthusiasts this is what they treasure and enjoy more than anything else.

For others the satisfaction of displaying an interesting or significant piece inside their home or office in the hopes of creating good conversation with friends and associates is another fine aspect of the hobby. However, most collectors I know would view this as secondary to the personal satisfaction of participating in the hobby, and would continue to collect whether or not they were ever able to share their collection with any other human being.

Certainly not everyone is wired like the autograph collector. I have watched people glance at the original Declaration of Independence and look away after a second or two with a ho-hum indifference, and while I cannot understand that personally I do understand that same person may watch me gaze at the document with jaw-opened reverence and himself struggle to understand.

Autographs allow us to shine light on and provide perspective to the past, and many an avid collector would most likely say they do the same for him.

Wish to learn more about collecting autographs and famous signatures and see our library of famous signature examples? Please visit us at www.famoussignatures.net