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Alexander Autographs is an auctioneer of historic militaria, autographs, manuscripts, relics, and other collectibles. Based in Chesapeake City, Maryland, the auction house first opened its doors to bidders in 1993. Patrons can attend auctions in the traditional floor style in the company's Maryland offices, or they can bid via a phone proxy, or use the internet to bid in real-time.
Alexander's typically holds three to four auctions per year, and concentrates on the following categories: Militaria of all types, Colonial and Revolutionary War; The War Between the States; Americana; Presidents and Vice Presidents; Supreme Court, Cabinet Members & Politicians; Royalty and Heads of State; Military Leaders; Scientists and Inventors; Aviators, Explorers, Astronauts; Business Leaders; Authors and Writers; Artists, Illustrators and Animation Art; Composers and Musicians; Entertainers; Rock and Roll; Notables and the Notorious; and Sports.
Alexander Autographs is smaller than the three major auction houses. However, the company seems to have carved out a definite niche in the market over the past 25 years, becoming famous for its high-dollar controversial sales.
Alexander Autographs auctioned off a gold Rolex wristwatch inscribed with a message from Marilyn Monroe to President John F. Kennedy. The message reads: JACK, With love as always, from MARILYN May 29, 1962, only ten days after her famous "Happy Birthday" performance at Madison Square Garden. Included in the watch case is a poem from Monroe to Kennedy ending with a passionate plea: "Let me love or let me die!" The watch and accompanying items sold for $120,000 to an anonymous East Coast collector.
Alexander Autographs was forced to withdraw a letter it was auctioning, purporting to be from Ronald Reagan and written during the President's later years while he suffered with Alzheimer's. The letter's content—hand-written annotations and references to the disease, was reported upon by CBS News, U.S. News & World Report, and other media. Bill Panagopulos, company president, withdrew the item when it was discovered to have been forged and advised the press that he had been "duped" by a forger.
Alexander Autographs found itself embroiled in a row with eBay, the online auction house, when eBay refused to run Alexander's Nazi and other German World War II items on its website. Alexander's complied, but issued a statement on its own website adding that, "Though these items are indeed controversial, we maintain that they are of vital historic importance and cannot and must not be ignored."
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