RICK: What do we have here? DOUGLAS: I have a
photo of and letter by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. RICK: Now that’s cool. Longfellow– he was
the biggest there was. Unfortunately today, I would
say close to 99% of Americans can’t even name a poet. Probably not. I got this in the mid ’70s. I went to an auction. There was this table
just full of what looked to me to be junk. In that group of
stuff was this letter and photograph already framed. I bid $20 on it. My kids aren’t interested in it. So I may as well
see what I can get for it here at the pawn shop. RICK: Is it a poem?
DOUGLAS: No. It’s basically a letter. I think this Dear
Madam, whoever she was, wrote to him for a photograph
and some autographs to use in a fair. And he’s sending that to
make some money for the fare. RICK: OK.
That is definitely cool. We live in such a
different society now. In the 19th century, poetry was
so important and really was. I mean, the guy who wrote poems
was as big as a huge author or a really big actor. And he was– really was
a superstar back then. This is the guy who when
he passed away they, put a– it was a
statue, or a bust, or something like that– in
Westminster Abbey in England. DOUGLAS: In Poets Corner.
Yeah. RICK: And I think he was
the only American ever put in there– after that point. There might be some now. But I think up to that point,
he was the only one there. And if you know how
snooty the English were, especially back then, they
still haven’t forgiven us for beating them in two wars. I am assuming this is a real. I mean, the ink looks
like from the period. How much were you
looking to get? DOUGLAS: I was hoping to
get, like, $300 for it. RICK: A big concern
I have here is this is one of the most famous
men in the United States. OK? It wouldn’t surprise
me if this guy got hundreds of letters every day. I don’t know if he could
respond to every one of them. Sometimes they would have a
secretary write the letter. Or he might have done
the whole thing himself. This might have been– went to a secretary–
you take care of those, why don’t you give me a couple.
I’ll take care of those myself. I am a writer. DOUGLAS: I guess we’ll
never know, will we? RICK: No. There is a way. If you can hang out
for a little bit here, I would like to get my friend
down here to take a look at it. I have a friend that’s
a handwriting expert. He’s one of the most
respected people in his field. Hang out a few minutes. I’m going to give him a call,
and we’ll get this figured out. Cool. Thanks. I’m sort of hyped about
him bringing in an expert. It may surprise me, it may– may make me go back
in my car and cry. I don’t know.
We’ll see. RICK: Steve. What’s up, Rick?
Good to see you. Everything in
this world is great. I like hearing that.
How you doing? Hey there.
How are you? This is it. This is what I
called you about– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. STEVE: You know, in
terms of what this is, it’s got great potential. In all honesty, this
guy’s really sought after. This is really neat, you
know, if it checks out. I love it.
It. So don’t get
your hopes up yet. What I want to do is take
a look at the ink on here. And there’s going to
be several indicators, especially how the ink, kind,
of adheres to the paper. So I’m going to follow
the signature along here. And it kind of looks like
it starts off pretty strong. OK? But the more I’m
moving along here, you see how it gets very
faint towards the end? So he’s using a
quill to write it. As the ink’s running out. And he’s running
out of the quill. How cool is that? No doubt about
the ink on here. So that’s one good sign. OK? The next thing I want to do is
I want to pull up the examples that I have on file here. On this example, yours very
truly, we see yours very truly. I mean, we’ve–
looking at live ink– RICK: OK, so it’s all legit?
– Absolutely. There’s no question about it. RICK: So what do you
think it’s worth? The value on this
piece, especially with a beautiful
signature on there, the photograph, the framing,
everything included– right around $1,500.
RICK: Cool. STEVE: Cool?
Good luck. Good to see you.
– Thanks, man. Hey, cool.
Thanks a bunch. You bet, man.
Take care. Well, you know there’s a
lot of different collectors that would kind of
tap into this piece. And I think an autograph
collector, first and foremost, would want it. Someone asking for his
autograph in 1881– I think that’s about
as cool as it gets. RICK: What’d you want for this? $300? That’s in the past. I have a little more
information now. I don’t think $300 is
going to do it for me. I would sure like
to see $900 for it. I’ll tell you what,
I’ll give you $700. OK?
You walked in here wanting 300. I had your stuff
authenticated for you, and I’m offering you more than
double what you were asking. OK? I think it’s more than
fair of me for $700. Yeah.
Let’s do 700. RICK: Sweet. Thank you, sir. I will meet you
right over there, and I will get you some cash. Oh, I like that. 700 isn’t 900, but,
you know, it’s OK. It’s a whole lot more than 300. I may go back home and
dig through the closets again– see what I can find.