Collectible Autographs - Philography
What is Philography?
Collectible autographs or philography are a particularly popular hobby, also known as philography, amongst those who admire the world of rich and the famous. Not surprisingly collectible autographs also come in a number of categories, depending on the people whose autographs are being collected. The most popular category amongst collectible autographs predictably remains movie star autographs, though sport stars come a close second.
Starting sometime in the 16th century, the hobby of collecting autographs during that time mostly involved students from Germany, who saved their correspondence with friends and family in albums. It was only in the 18th century that the hobby took its present form, and soon caught the fancy of people around the world. With the increase in the popularity of sport stars as well the medium which promoted them, more and more people began collecting autographs of the famous.
Not limited to a particular time frame, an autograph of a popular personality from any era is extremely valuable, and like in all forms of collectibles, the older the autograph the more valuable the collectible. But before you start collecting autographs, you need to keep in mind that four parameters decide the value of an autograph. These include, the person who has signed, what has been written, is the autograph in ink or pencil and what the condition of the autograph is.
Now obviously, the more famous the person, the more valuable the autograph, with historic figures gaining more weight-age and if the autograph also includes some lines apart from the signature, once again value increases. Ink autographs are definitely more valuable, and they need to be in good condition.
After you have a little research under your belt, you can begin by deciding what category of collectible autographs you wish to obtain. If its movie stars that interest you, then finding out about events that you could visit, visiting websites to request for autographs or even obtaining addresses to send in your request for an autograph, are all the possible ways that you can get an autograph. In fact, many celebrities have mailing addresses, where fans can send in requests for autographs. The best way to ensure a response is to enclose a self-addressed and stamped envelope, apart from a photo and your letter, in your mail.
If you are looking for collectible autographs of historic figures then the internet can be a good source. Many online auctions give out valuable autographs at extremely attractive prices. Be on a constant look out to make the most of these. Do enough research so that you can spot the difference between fakes and authentic autographs, and only buy from reliable dealers. In case you find a popular autograph at an unbelievable price, make sure that it is the real deal before buying.
Apart from buying, storage is another important aspect of autograph collection. Getting yourself an autograph album is a good idea, as not only will this keep your collectible autographs in good condition, it will also help you structure your collection. You could also frame your collection, but make sure the autograph does not touch the glass when you do so. Keep your collectible autographs in an area with moderate temperature, and avoid direct sunlight or freezing temperatures. Remember all these pointers and you can increase the value of your collection in case you want to sell them, or even keep them in top condition to pass down your collectible autographs to your children.