Founded in 1830 in Berlin
Autograph and manuscript auction in spring 2024
Our firm is entirely dedicated to the fascinating field of autographs: original manuscripts handwritten by important figures in cultural history. Writers and scientists, artists and composers, major and minor players in world history all left behind letters and other manuscripts that bring the authors closer to us in a unique way, and which are often the first and only evidence of historical moments.
A collection area that opens up its very own cosmos – J. A. Stargardt’s specialty for almost 200 years.
Autograph and Manuscript Traders and Auctioneers
Some autographs that we have been able to sell successfully in recent years.
Francisco de Goya
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Ludwig van Beethoven
On Collecting Autographs
Günther Mecklenburg (1898-1984), long-time owner of J. A. Stargardt, wrote "Vom Autographensammeln" (“On Collecting Autographs”), the first modern manual for autograph collectors. Even after almost 60 years, it offers excellent insight into the subject. We are making the book available digitally here (in German). All rights to the texts are reserved by J. A. Stargardt.
Why collect autographs?
At the beginning of autograph collection, there was awe: a desire to preserve the writing of venerable people as a physical memory of them. An introduction to a fascination.
Terms and Definitions
The word „autograph“ can be misleading, especially for those not yet familiar with the subject. But autographs are so much more than just signatures.
The autograph trade arose in Germany in the 1830s as an offshoot of the book trade.
Trade in autographs
Reading and understanding catalogs
An auction or stock catalog can be indecipherable for beginners. Which points provide the crucial information – and what do all the abbreviations mean?
While the first collectors in the 19th century dreamed of universal collections, today most collectors are specialized in certain subjects or authors.
History of our Autograph House
The J. A. Stargardt company was founded in Berlin in 1830 by Johann Carl Klage (1785-1850) as a book and music supplies shop. As of 1841, it was directed by Ernst Krigar, who sold the company to Reuter & Stargardt in 1847. Paul Julius Reuter (1816-1899) resigned as early as 1849 and later founded the well-known Reuter's Telegram Company, today’s Reuters news agencyMehr lesen