Many families retain old letters and documents. Often preserved in a deed box, these can range from parchment indentures, some of which can be of great antiquity, apprenticeship indentures, commonplace and memorandum books, cookery and medicinal recipes and postal history. Often the most valuable are autograph letters. Mellors & Kirk provides owners of such material with informed, expert advice on the authenticity and value of historical documents and literary properties. Autograph collecting in particular was a common hobby in the 19th century and albums of letters appear from time to time which can sometimes yield minor treasures such as Darwin’s signature on a piece of his own Down House notepaper. This was one of the better items in a Victorian album which was sold at Mellors & Kirk for £6,500.
Autograph letters and documents are usually to be found in dedicated sections of Mellors & Kirk’s quarterly Fine Art Sales.