The below piece was first published on Nathan Raab’s blog on Forbes at https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanraab/2017/10/04/how-you-can-learn-to-detect-a-george-washington-autograph-forgery/#8ea4bc813387 One of the most forged autographs in American history is...Read More
George Washington autographs and historical documents have been sought after as long as American autographs have been collected. Signed letters from the Revolution and letters and historical documents during his…Read More
British prime minister during World War II whose long struggle to overcome Nazism resulted in its defeat. Churchill autographs and letters are a window into his mind and leadership style,…Read More
Abraham Lincoln autographs and historical documents are among the most collected and are always in demand. His letters are known for their great clarity and economy of words, he never…Read More
Einstein’s autographs and fascinating letters are among the most sought after in this field, and the collector will have interesting options from which to choose. He wrote extensively on topics…Read More
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The Raab Distinction
Trust. Knowledge. Distinction. Quality.
An internationally recognized name in important historical autographs and documents. We have earned this recognition because of our focus on quality, authenticity, importance, and beauty. Simply put: we search the world, finding important historical documents and bringing them to our historically passionate clientele. This requires an in-depth knowledge of history and decades of experience, as well as relationships with institutions, media, historically important families, and collectors, all built over time.
What began as a passion of one collector developed into a major international name. Uncovering important documents, building great collections. We count among our clients many of the most historically passionate collectors, those forming great private collection, and also collecting institutions, among them the Library of Congress and the British Library. We have handled many of the notable historical documents to reach the market in the past three decades.
Meet the Principals
In the early years, while practicing law, I collected mainly historical newspapers, but by the 1980s autographs became my passion (and, I suppose, my obsession).
I was very fortunate in these crucial formative moments to have placed a strong emphasis on learning from those around me and poring over as many books on autographs as I could. My philosophy on collecting evolved to a simple principle: select pieces that have a story to tell right within them, such as letters evocative of the writer, his…Meet Steven
Working with collectors, with descendants of famous families, and with the world's great institutions to preserve history is a privilege.
I began my career writing with the Associated Press in the Rome bureau, after which I accepted a position handling policy issues for a member of congress, and then as the press secretary to two others. After this, I worked in communications consulting for public and private sector entities. At the time, it did not dawn on me that my…Meet Nathan
Karen Pearlman Raab
Our job is to make sure history’s stories have a voice, and that they live on in a meaningful way for a new generation of collectors and institutions.
I joined The Raab Collection after a career as an attorney at Drexel University’s Law School where I developed the school’s Pro Bono Program and created innovative programming and partnerships for clinical legal education. I bring with me to The Raab Collection a deep interest in the individuals who played key roles in the great moments in history and the…Meet Karen
This business has been a decades-long passion for me.
Susan Raab co-founded The Raab Collection in 1989, after a career in science. She bought the firm’s first autograph, and was instrumental in the early years in guiding it toward quality rather than quantity. In 1993 she joined the firm full time, and concepted its catalogs. These were pioneering as the first fully illustrated catalogs in the field, in which…Meet Susan
Authenticate and Discover
Determining if a historical document is authentic requires an examination not only of the signature but of the context. Below are just a few things we look at each time we are presented with a new piece.
- The signature. - Does the autograph appear as you would expect it and in the location where it ought to appear?
- Who is the recipient? - Determining who received the letter or document will help track its provenance and provide additional context. This Lincoln letter was sent to his Attorney General.
- What kind of paper was used? - The kind of paper can shed light on authenticity. Is the format correct? The stationery right? This is on Executive Mansion letterhead, first used by President Lincoln.
- Is the paper folded? - Sometimes even the folds in the paper can shed light on authenticity. Here the paper is folded as one often sees it.
- What is the historical context? - Knowing whether the letter or events is known is additional information. Here, we know that this is a published letter and relates to known people and events.
- What is the date? - Make sure the date makes sense within the life of the person. We know Lincoln was President in 1862 and also not yet assassinated.
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In the search for history, we find ourselves in some unlikely places. Each day we are contacted by many people who have historical documents...Read More
Unpublished Colonial Documents of a New York Merchant and Patriot An acquisition and exhibition by Raab For a quarter century, a handful of important...Read More