An antique autograph book from the 19th Century was one of the lots at the International and Asian Art Auction at Maynard’s Antiques in Vancouver. The book contains signatures collected over a 40 year period of famous visitors to the White House. Although its estimated value was between $10,000 and $15,000, the book was sold for $25,300 (£16,000).
The signatures were collected by the doorman of the White House, Maj. Charles D.A. Loeffler from 1869 to 1909. Some of the most famous signatures include Sir Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, P. T. Barnum and Ulysses S. Grant. The antique autograph book was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder from Canada.
Although it is a unique purchase, other more common items like antique furniture can usually be bought for a lower price at a reputable antiques dealer. Items bought at auction have a buyer’s premium added on to the final purchase price, which is significant on valuable items.
The auction was a complete success, as other items exceeded their estimated value. A Chinese ink scroll painting, Red Plum Tree by artist Guan Shanyue, was estimated at $120,000 but sold for $241,500 (£150,000).
Bidders from around the world took part in the auction either online, by telephone or in person.
Visiting an antiques dealer in person and being able to see an item can be a safer option. Buyers have the opportunity to see and examine a piece before buying it, ensuring the item is a genuine antique.
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