Day in day out we sell some of the world’s rarest autographs.
From James Dean to Henry VIII, if you can imagine it we’ve either got it or can get it.
However, there’s one I can guarantee that we’ll never have in stock.
I’ll give you a clue.
It belongs to the greatest writer in history.
There are only six known copies of William Shakespeare’s autograph in existence – all of which feature on legal documents and are housed under lock and key in some of the world’s most prestigious institutions.
If one was to ever sell, it’s estimated that it would go for around $5m.
That figure would increase significantly if it was attached to a manuscript copy of one of his plays, not a single copy of which has ever surfaced.
The extraordinary value placed on his signature is far above that for any other person, a phenomenon that can be explained both by his extraordinary contribution to literature and the air of mystery that surrounds him.
Despite his fame and status, we still known very little about Shakespeare.
The fact that very few records or relics are known to have survived means that there is no market for memorabilia pertaining to him, despite enormous demand.
As a result copies of his folios, printed after his death, regularly break six figures – with one selling for $6.1m in 2001.