From 3-5pm, Howard Zerwitz, a highly regarded dealer, appraiser and expert in historical autographs, will offer verbal appraisals on original signatures, historical letters and historic documents.
At 5pm, Zerwitz will give a talk about the ins and out of collecting historical autographs and will answer questions from the audience. Following Zerwitz's talk, there will be a wine and cheese reception. The talk and reception are free for members of the Historical Society ($15 donation per family for non-members).
Also, the Historical Society's exhibit, Signed by the President, will be open starting at 12pm. Signed by the President presents over 40 documents signed by nearly 30 of the Presidents of the United States. Each autograph has an interesting history or background story. All have been touched by the hand of a President of the United States. Exhibit curators, Ken Reiss and Jon Zagrodzky, will be available to talk about the exhibit, tell stories and answer questions.
Getting An Appraisal
If you have an historical document or signature you would like appraised, your first step is to call the Darien Historical Society at 203.655.9233 to reserve a ten minute time slot. Arrive a bit before your time slot and then Howard will evaluate up to three items and provide a verbal appraisal. The appraisal is free for all members of the Darien Historical Society. For non-members, the cost is $15 total, whether you have one, two or three items. While you are waiting for your appraisal, it is very enjoyable and worthwhile to listen in and learn while others are having their autographs appraised. It is just like Antiques Roadshow but you are right there!
What type of autograph might you bring for an appraisal? Famous people: U.S. Presidents, world leaders, military figures, scientists, authors, composers and other (but note: Zerwitz does not evaluate signatures of sport or entertainment figures). Authentications and evaluations will be offered on any actual item presented and are often possible from only a photo if the item cannot be brought in. Presidential autographs after the 1950s may be more difficult to authenticate due to the proliferation of auto-pen signatures.
How might you benefit fro an appraisal? They can be helpful in securing insurance, estimating donation value for tax purposes or just satisfying long-standing curiosity. In any case, now is the time to get that appraisal you've always wanted. Howard would be pleased to provide written appraisals but these will need to be arranged directly with him and will entail an additional cost.
About the Autograph Expert
Zerwitz is the owner and founder of American Historical Guild, which is based in Dix Hills, N.Y. American Historical Guild deals in original signatures, historical letters, historic documents, books, signed photos and historical newspapers.
Zerwitz has helped build some of the finest collections in the country. His passion for collecting started over forty years ago and he is happy to share his knowledge and expertise He has written articles, lectured at universities, and shared his knowledge on radio and television programs. You may have seen the American Historical Guild's advertisements over the years in such magazines as Smithsonian, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Art & Antiques, Historic Preservation and many more. His clients include thousands of private collectors as well as institutions such as historical societies and museums.