About two years ago, I was doing my usual Saturday morning picking, this time at a community yard sale held in the parking lot of a real estate office. Meandering around, I stopped at a table and spotted a piece of paper for sale with an autograph on it. The small, aged paper was protected under a clear plastic sheet, the type you might snap into a three ring binder. The seller was asking twenty dollars for it. Looking closely at the signature, my jaw dropped in amazement...it read "Muhammad Ali".
|"The Greatest" found at a yard sale.|
Listening to the couple's story, it all seemed to ring true to me. I knew for a fact that Ali actually did live in Cherry Hill back in the Seventies. Also, the autographed piece of paper had some age to it and looked like it could easily date back to the 1970's. Processing all this information, it didn't take long to make my decision. However, just to reduce my exposure in case the autograph was a fake, I offered the couple $15 bucks which they accepted. As an added bonus, there also happened to be a separate autographed postcard of another boxer under the plastic sheet. This made my $15 dollar purchase a very nice two-for-one deal!
|Jack Demspey restaurant postcard|
The undercard sale of my Dempsey postcard now completed, I moved on to the main event. When posting Ali's autograph on eBay, I carefully laid out all the details the sellers shared with me regarding how they obtained it. To reinforce and back up their story, I also cited that fact that Muhammad Ali resided in the same town as the couple did during the early Seventies. And while not claiming to be a hand writing expert, I also pointed out my yard sale autograph looked "spot-on" to any of Ali's known signatures found on the internet. This elaborate description discussing it's provenance seemed to assure bidders. My Muhammad Ali autograph sold for $160 dollars! That's what I call a yard sale knockout!
his passing. Obviously my find would have sold for even more money today, but no worries. The Champ did me a solid a few years back with an unbelievable yard sale find that turned a $15 investment into $160 dollars. So here's to "The Greatest." There will never be another one like him.
How about you? Ever find or sell a famous autograph? Share the story in the comment section below...
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