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Lot # 1720 (1720 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

1764 John Hancock Handwritten Letter with Exceptional Signature Example!

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $10,800

Three page handwritten letter, dated "Boston Dec. 26. 1764," signed by John Hancock (1737-1793), Massachusetts statesman and first signer of the Declaration of Independence. In his letter, which is scripted in black ink on two-separate sheets (the first sheet features text on the front and reverse), Hancock writes to Godfrey Malbone and implores him to pay the debt owed to his recently deceased uncle, Thomas Hancock. In part:

Sir, The multiplicity of affairs devolv'd [sic] upon me by the death of my late uncle Thomas Hancock Esq has prevented my writing you till now, before which time I confess I expected to have heard from you on the subject of your debt, more especially as you undoubtedly have seen the repeated advertisements in the Publick [sic] Papers to that effect. . . . I am to acquaint you that all affairs relative to the estate of my late uncle devolves upon me and I must request of you to be as speedy as possible in the settling this affair, the money I shall be extremely glad to receive, and Indeed there is now a necesity [sic], as I must settle the estate soon.

It is signed "Your most hble Serv't John Hancock." Hancock's signature, like that on the Declaration of Independence, is both large and remarkably bold, grading a perfect "10." The text grades "9" overall. The first two pages of the letter contain the main text, while the third sheet offers an accounting of the amounts (with interest), owed by Malbone. Thomas Hancock was one of the richest citizens of Boston at the time of his death in August 1764. Upon his passing, John Hancock inherited his business, Hancock House (an import/export company), and almost all of his estate, thereby making him one of the wealthiest men in the colonies. At this time he had yet to enter the political field. Godfrey Malbone was a prominent merchant who was involved in the shipment of food and slaves between Rhode Island at the West Indies in the early 18th century. Shortly afterwards, John Hancock became one of the most important figures of the American Revolution, best known today as the first signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Hancock also served as governor of Massachusetts from October 25, 1780, through January 29, 1785, and then again from May 30, 1787, until his death on October 8, 1793. Hancock's signature is a requisite for any advanced historical autograph collection. The signature offered here, which mirrors that on the Declaration of Independence in style, is an outstanding example and one that would appeal to even the most discriminating collector.

Each page of the letter (7.25 x 9 inches) displays two horizontal and vertical folds, as well as scattered age toning. A number of the fold lines display tears which appear to have been professionally repaired. Excellent in its overall appearance. This is an outstanding John Hancock letter with a tremendous high-quality signature! The letter is presented in a magnificent and beautifully constructed custom-made unique wall display that allows for the viewing of all three pages. The first sheet is encased in double-glazed frame (12 x 13.25 inches; both sides are visible), which in turn hangs on the front of a larger framed matting featuring the third sheet, a portrait illustration of Hancock, and a descriptive plaque. Total dimensions: 33.5 x 28 inches. Full LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $4,000+. SOLD FOR $10,800

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