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There’s plenty of interest in Steve Jobs’ autograph

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor | Commentary

An icon in the technology world, Apple founder Steve Jobs, died on Wednesday at age 56 the company announced, leaving an immense legacy in how his company’s electronics changed the way people lived.

Naturally, I wondered whether he appears on any trading cards in the Beckett.com database after hearing the news. He does not — not a single standard card. Not a single cut autograph card. Nothing.

However, there might be a reason for that last part — Jobs apparently wasn’t much of a signer as demand for his autograph has been very strong through the years and it will, naturally, be even stronger now.

The signed first issue of MacWorld magazine seen above was the only non-reprinted autograph from Jobs that went on the auction block in the last two weeks on eBay. Reportedly signed for a former Apple employee, it collected 28 bids on Sunday and closed at $1,426.69, but the reserve on the auction was not met. That’s all without any kind of authentication from James Spence Authentication or PSA/DNA.

Well before his death, there was heavy interest in Jobs’ autographs as one collector was willing to pay $2,274 for a signed copy of this same magazine (perhaps the exact same one) in 2003, according to CNet, but, again, the reserve on that auction was not met. Adding to this demand is the fact that, for years, Jobs apparently had a policy of not signing through the mail to give everyone similar treatment rather than please a few and disappoint many others.

Unsigned, the magazine itself has an asking price of as much as $325 on eBay right now. (Update: As of 9 p.m., some eBay sellers are asking $2,000 for an unsigned issue.) Between this and other items on the auction block, it’s apparent that there are a lot of people out there interested in memorabilia relating to the media icon and his company just as there is plenty of interest in computers, iPads, iPhones and so on.

Presently, interest in some items depicting him is picking up on eBay. For example, a 1982 copy of TIME magazine featuring jobs on the cover sold for $162.50 after 37 bids Wednesday night with the bid amount jumping more than $30 during the auction’s final minute.

Meanwhile other pieces of Jobs memorabilia have made headlines in the past. Late last year, a Chinese company created an action figure of Jobs, which sold for as much as $2,500 after Apple sent the company a cease and desist order as the item was not authorized by him or his company.

Could there be a 1/1 cut autograph of Jobs to come from a trading card manufacturer soon? Probably, but the tough part might be finding a signature.

The easy part will be finding someone who wants it.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

11 Comments

Nice article Chris. He was a big loss to the world.

Posted October 5, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink
Ken Jenkins

I have an Apple IIe chip signed by Jobs (and a letter from him to go with it) plus one
signed by Woz (with the correspondence). How much do you think the pair would go for? They’re not mounted or framed at the moment.

Posted October 6, 2011 at 8:02 am | Permalink
chrisolds

I said on Twitter last night that I wouldn’t be shocked if a clean, quality sig with a letter of authentication from, say, James Spence, brought in $5,000 right now.

Posted October 6, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink
Kevin

Ken, I don’t think there is a cooler thing to be signed by Jobs than a IIe chip. That is awesome.
Woz is cool too.

Posted October 6, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink
Mark

Steve jobs signed a piece of Macintosh stationary dated 1/11/84 with a note titled to me. came about while my dad was at the launch for dealers. stationary has apple logo in upper left corner, Macintosh on the upper right, and “The First One Hundred Days” in the lower right.

Posted October 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink
Kaf adfafsf

I love the irony of death. Michael Jackson was considered a child molester freak until he died. Jobs was an ego maniac who told us that we were holding our phones wrong for all these years, and Al Davis was the butt of many jokes, yet here we are and they are immortalized. I guess respect in death is better than no respect at all.

Kaf

Posted October 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

Chris,

I made the booklet featured here:

http://badwax.net/2011/09/12/technological-innovations-booklet-custom-made/

About a month ago for one of my readers, it was nearly impossible to find a certified autograph of Steve Jobs. In about a month they will become impossible to find again. If you can get it for $300 ish pick it up, it’ll be running $1000 before you know it. He just didn’t sign a lot of things.

Posted October 10, 2011 at 6:59 am | Permalink

The picture at the top of this page is my magazine. I placed it on eBay a few weeks ago before Steve’s death. Yes, I was an Apple employee and it was the most difficult yet best company I have ever worked for. It was also the most rewarding. I still look back on what I learned at Apple and some of the friends I made. I have my own business now but sometimes miss working there.

Anyway, I was in Steve’s office one day in 1997 or 1998 showing him how to use some technology that I was product manager of. Long story but he liked the technology and praised me for helping him out with it… as a favor he signed this magazine. A few years later I was fortunate enough to have Steve Wozniak sign it as well. Rumor has it that Steve Jobs would not have signed it had Woz signed it first! I don’t know if that is true or not but it’s funny. ; )

I have not put it up for sale yet out of respect. It’s a very special item to have – I also have a signed award from Apple that will never go up for sale… so I actually have 2 Steve Jobs signatures. I learned and continue to learn a lot from him. He was a very focused and passionate guy regarding Apple. We are lucky to have had him in our lives.

Posted October 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
Jeff

Any idea of the value for the Mac 128
computer. Inside is signed by many
Apple executives including Steve Jobs.
I believe the computer is from 1984.

Posted November 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink
Todd Ouzts

I actually own one of these exact premier issues.

It was personally signed for me by Steve Jobs at a MacWorld Expo in San Francisco in ’89 or 90. I was a Claris employee back then, writing code for FileMaker Pro 1.0.

I haven’t really thought about selling it, but I might need to insure it for more. I keep it in a safe deposit box and it’s now listed in my will for my kids to keep. You knows, maybe you’ll see it on Pawn Stars one day. :)

Posted January 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

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  1. [...] tough part might be finding the signature. The easy part will be finding someone who wants it. There’s plenty of interest in Steve Jobs’ autograph | __________________ Shop for Sports Cards and Trading [...]

  2. [...] signed by Steve Jobs himself, is for sale on eBay. The signature on the iPod is similar to Jobs’s signature, but the item doesn’t include any guarantee or certificate of authenticity, though the seller [...]

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