Some collectors choose to have letters and documents matted and framed with images. This certainly adds to aesthetic interest in display format. Please bear in mind, however, that photography as we know it was not introduced until around 1837 with the Daguerreotype. Occasionally, it is possible to obtain original steel engravings to pair with letters and documents and, even more rare, reprints of original oil paintings. Many paintings of the 16th-20th century, held in museums or national archives, are protected by copyright. Others require the payment of a fee for one-time digital use. Thus, it is not always possible to pair letters and documents with images of cardinals and popes of the early 1500’s as they may not be readily available or obtaining same could be cost-prohibitive to the collector.
A bull was a particular type of charter or formal document issued by a pope. Such documents were issued for many kinds of communication of a public nature, but after the 15th century, only the most formal or solemn of occasions. Modern scholars have retroactively used the term BULL to describe any elaborate document issued in the form of a decree or privilege (solemn or simple) and to some elaborate ones issued in the form of a letter. Popularly, the name bull is used to designate any papal document that includes a lead medal seal with cords or other precious metal seal (the latter are very uncommon). Any subject may be treated in a bull and many were and are including statutory decrees, episcopal appointments, dispensations, excommunications, apostolic constitutions, canonization’s, etc. A BREVE became the more common practice in the 17th to modern centuries. This document, often on parchment, was headed with the name of the pope but was signed on behalf of the pope by a senior member of his household or Roman curia. While not as desirable as papal bulls, depending upon their content and condition, may breves contain important historical information and are desirable as such.
Current Wants: Autographs, letters, signed photographs and quality memorabilia of Aimee Semple McPherson; Leo X; Mother Teresa; Billy Sunday; Pope St. John XXIII; Billy Graham; George Cardinal Mundelein; John Cardinal O’Hara, Aloisius Cardinal Muench; Felix R. M. Rouleau, archbishop of Quebec; Kathryn Kuhlman; Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen; Mary Baker Eddy; early African-American gospel singers/groups; important American evangelists; Henri Nouwen; Thomas Merton; Pope St. Pius X; Clements August Cardinal von Galen; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton; St. Francis Xavier Cabrini; Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman; (Blessed) Pope Pius IX; (Blessed) Andrea Cardinal Ferrari; Cardinals Giovanni and Fernando de Medici; archbishops of Canterbury; Pope John Paul I; 16-20th century popes and saints, including St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. Please contact us for a confidential analysis of your unwanted autographs and memorabilia.
ALS: Autograph Letter Signed; entirely in the hand of the author
LS: Letter Signed; signed by the author but written by another (i.e. a secretary or clerk)
TLS: Typewritten Letter Signed
ANS: Autograph Note Signed; same as ALS but more brief.
ADS: Autograph Document Signed; (a will, a manuscript, a journal) but signed by the author
DS: Document Signed (such as a check or court record)
AQS: Autograph Quotation Signed; this could be poetry or a memorable statement; in the handwriting of the author. Many autograph albums of the mid 19th Century contained brief signed quotations
AES: Autograph Endorsement Signed; endorsement in the author’s hand, usually on the verso or margin of another letter
AMuQS: Autograph Musical Quotation Signed; this might be a few bars of music from the composer’s body of work, which he has signed and/or dated. These are highly desirable collectibles.
SP: Signed Photograph
ISP: Inscribed Signed Photograph; this is the same as above but includes a dedication or a few words of greeting in the hand of the author.
NY: No year
ND: No date
NP: No place
Consider the gift of an autograph, signed first edition book, or piece of memorabilia! There’s nothing quite as unique as the gift of an autograph. We also offer handsome gift certificates in denominations of $25, $50, $100 or more. Your recipient can choose from our extensive online inventory. We can mail the certificate to you or directly to anyone of your choosing.
Thanks for asking. We appreciate your interest. It might surprise you to learn that we are asked that question almost daily. Were we to respond to every such question, we would accomplish very little. Valuation or appraisal of an autograph presumes that it is genuine. Authentication is a separate process from appraisal. Please be aware that we cannot make an offer to purchase your autograph and also appraise it as that would be a professional conflict of interest. You can read more on this under Appraisal & Authentication.
Four factors generally determine value: (1) content: what is being said if a letter or document; (2) condition; (3) rarity: did the person leave little or a lot of material; (4) demand: bear in mind that fads and trends are ever-changing.
Don’t confuse the two. Say you obtain an autograph in person. You had a personal connection with the celebrity who signed the autograph. That makes it a special memento for you. This does not, however, contribute to its real value based upon the four factors above. It often is hard for the collector to step back and look at their treasures objectively. We do it every day. There are a few exceptions. If the celebrity who signed in-person is especially desirable and in demand – such as a standing US president – then your provenance of obtaining it in person can add appreciably to the value.
Not so fast. We love Antiques Roadshow as much as you. It is entertaining and informative. The next time you catch an episode, listen for the statement “I estimate this is what you might realize at auction for your item.” Auction prices fluctuate dramatically and depend not only on the four factors listed above, but the auction house and how it publicizes an item and the size of a bidding audience whether in-person, by phone or proxy (internet). Auction houses typically charge the seller a hammer commission of at least 20 percent and an equal hammer fee to the buyer. This fee is on top of the final hammer price realized.
Search engines such as Google and Bing often direct viewers to outdated weblinks. What once was available in our online gallery may have sold or been removed. We recommend that you visit weekesautographs.com often as we are updating new inventory daily.
That’s great! First, take a minute to drop us through the “contact us” window. Describe the item and price and we will confirm whether or not it is available. Please note: we distinguish between an order and an inquiry. Whenever someone places an “order,” we remove that item from active inventory and hold it for a period – usually 24 hours – until the order is followed by payment. If you inquire about an autograph but do not follow-up with placement and order confirmation, the material is still available to others.
Use our convenient contact form to inquire about an item or leave instructions for the order of material in our online gallery.
Lucky you! We do offer layaway. Young people or those on a budget find layaway an excellent means of acquiring material. Our terms are simple. On purchases of $250 or more, you may place an item or items on 90-day layaway with a one-third, non-refundable deposit. Equal payments are due at 60 and 90 days, at which time material is shipped. All material remains our sole property until such time as the terms of layaway are fully met. There is no additional charge for layaway. Should you default in any of the terms of layaway, you forfeit your original one-third installment and the property remains ours.
We have thousands of items in inventory from signatures and photographs, to letters, manuscripts, books and memorabilia. Just a sampling of our inventory appears in the online gallery. Please visit often as we are continuously updating the website. Want lists: we are happy to receive your want list and will alert you whenever something comes along. There is no charge for this service and you are under no obligation until you place an order.
Many clients prefer Paypal as it is a safe and convenient form of electronic payment. We also accept many credit cards such as VISA and Mastercard. Finally, we accept official drafts drawn on a bank as well as personal checks. All checks must first clear our bank before merchandise is shipped (usually 3-4 business days on US financial institutions). In rare instances, where the price of an item is considerable, or an overseas purchase, we can make arrangements for bank electronic transfer. Please keep in mind that our bank charges us a fee to both receive money from overseas clients and to send money on items we purchase. This can often amount to $30-50.
Important: all transactions are calculated in US dollars. Prices are in effect at the time of offering but may change without notice. New York State residents must add 8.75% sales tax. Telephone inquiries are welcome Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (EST). Our telephone number is Area 716-263-2724.
We need a little information. A good, clear scan of the autograph, photo, letter…is a must. If it is a letter of more than one page, we need to view all pages. It’s always a good idea to send as many images as you feel describe what you are selling. For the techno-savvy, we recommend images be in .jpg format and at least 200-300 KB in size. Image clarity is important. Please also include a sentence or three on what we are viewing.
NEXT, tell us your asking price? We will either accept or make a counter offer. Autograph dealers do not purchase material at retail, fair-market, value. We have overhead just like you! Once we agree on price, we require that you mail the original item to us by U.S. Postal Service, registered mail (so both of us have tracking info). Unless you are an established client with whom we have done business, we do require that you mail your autograph. Please allow us 7-10 business days to respond. We then will send you $$$ or return your autograph to you registered mail (at our expense).
With few exceptions, we use the US Postal Service for shipment of orders. Your item is shipped Priority Mail, insured for full value. Someone needs to sign for your package. For an additional fee we can arrange to ship your order via UPS. Within the United States, UPS Ground Insured is an affordable and secure method of shipment. Overseas shipment is another animal altogether. Not only is it expensive to ship overseas by UPS, but each country also has its own customs restrictions and fees. More on this under International Shipping.
The short answer is YES! Other than for reasons of authenticity, merchandise may be returned within 7 business days from the date of purchase for a full credit (original purchaser only). Credit only applies to regularly featured material and not to consigned material. No further discounts may be applied against material purchased for credit. Credit will be good for a period of six months from date of issue. Please contact us by telephone before you return any merchandise. Material must be in the same condition as when shipped. We recommend USPS Priority Mail and insurance against loss. Please read the Professional Opinion that accompanies your purchase. This lists important information on return of material in the event of questionable authenticity.
The following is a statement directly from the US Postal Service:
Postal administrations in several international countries have contacted the United States Postal Service about the declaration of value placed on customs forms. They have noted that, in many cases, the declared value is understated when compared to the actual invoice or known value of the item, especially for sales conducted over the internet.
The correct value of each item is required on customs forms as it helps determine the proper duties and taxes, and whether they should be applied. Some countries soon will begin taking steps to address this issue, such as levying fines on the addressee when the declared value is determined to be lower than the invoice.
Please help us comply with international postal regulations by understanding that we must declare full value on shipments. This also protects our mutual interest should something become lost, damaged or stolen.
We are happy to be of assistance. Just drop us an email or give us a call. We will do our very best to answer your questions.
For the first time in 20 years, the US Postal Service has a new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, who has zero prior postal experience. A Trump Administration appointee, DeVoy is prepared to employ any means possible to reduce costs. His proposed actions will negatively impact prompt delivery of both domestic and international mail.
Following is Mr. DeJoy’s announcement as of 17 July 2020:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mail deliveries could be delayed by a day or more under cost-cutting efforts being imposed by the new postmaster general. The plan eliminates overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal workers and says employees must adopt a “different mindset” to ensure the Postal Service’s survival during the coronavirus pandemic.
Late trips will no longer be authorized. If postal distribution centers are running late, “they will keep the mail for the next day,″ Postal Service leaders say in a document obtained by The Associated Press. “One aspect of these changes that may be difficult for employees is that — temporarily — we may see mail left behind or mail on the workroom floor or docks,″ another document says.
IN THE PAST THREE MONTHS we have experienced several lengthy delays of mail, particularly to non-US based clients. It took three months for one letter to reach a client in Ireland. Another client in Austria received a notice from his government’s postal service saying our Priority Mail International shipment could not be delivered…this despite the fact that the client has had the same post office box for more than 25 years. As a result of this error, the shipment is being returned to us. Another shipment destined for the UK now has found its way to customs in Japan.
WE PRIDE OURSELVES ON EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE. For US shipments we will continue to use USPS Priority Mail Insured (for full declared value). On all shipments to non-US based customers, with a value of $200 or more, we now will rely upon DHL EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL. This will result in a small uncharge to clients but it will guarantee faster, more reliable, service and excellent tracking capability. As a reminder, we must declare full retail value. This protects our mutual interests in the event of loss or damage. Overseas clients should anticipate paying nominal VAT and customs entry fees. We apologize for this inconvenience but it is the cost of doing business in this “new normal” world. Thank you for your understanding.