There are hundreds of educational books written on the subject of autograph collecting.  There are many hundreds of journals printed by international autograph organizations containing educational articles.  How can it be that someone from Rhode Island who states on their autograph auction page that: "We specialize in auctioning authentic signatures of famous people in American History such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee...."

We discovered on eBay a cut signature of U.S. Grant.  We don't get shocked too easily however the sellers description was shocking to us.

How can anyone purchase a wonderful two page autograph letter signed by U.S. Grant and cut the signature from the letter???

We have to believe that when one owns an item, they have to power to do what they want with it.  They can treasure it and be a keeper of history or destroy it.  However when they are in the business of dealing with historical documents they should understand the importance of preserving history.  See below, the sellers admission of cutting the signature from the letter they purchased from a major autograph auction house.

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  • Greed, greed and more greed with incompetents. The destruction of historical letters/documents is unforgivable.  The content/history is gone for bucks.  One jackass destroyed a large George Washington historical document for signatures that were within the document and guess what autograph organization he is a member.  The content of that document is gone forever.

  • The only way I'd cut something up is if it was for example a John Lennon autograph next to pee wee Herman or something lol
  • Well these people selling this are trying to get the most for their money.  They can cut the document up and sell each word, or group of words for some money to re-coup whatever they are out on the document.  With the news of the shill bidding going on in the industry, they might be worried they paid too much and are trying to get more back then what they could just by selling the document as is.  They might make out more by doing it this way.  Also, knowing who's behind presidential items, you can bet your sweet pippy, that's why they are worried.

  • In a hobby with no shortage of questionable practices, this one is one of the worst offenses I can think of. True, you own what you buy and those items are yours to do with as you please. But collectors and dealers should have some sense of responsibility when it comes to the stewardship of these items. It's bad enough when moron authenticators devalue items by placing important looking stickers on them, usually on the signature page. But to cut up a letter, jersey, baseball bat, or whatever is truly despicable in my view. I do not knowingly buy any of these pieces and would encourage others to do the same. I will also add that I think less of dealers who buy, sell or accept on consignment, these items. If you had the good fortune to own a Dunlap Broadside, would you cut it up so collectors could have an authentic piece of The Declaration of Independence?

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