1780 John Hancock Signed Commonwealth of Massachusetts Document

Sold For: $3,851

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1409

Item Year: 1780

Category: Historical/Political

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Original Commonwealth of Massachusetts naval document, dated December 16, 1780, signed by John Hancock (1737-1793), Massachusetts statesman and first signer of the Declaration of Independence. The one-page document, an official oath regarding the origin and ownership of the schooner "Industry," has been signed by Hancock as Governor of Massachusetts. Hancock's signature, which is the most famous signature in American history, has been flawlessly scripted in black ink just below the state seal, grading "10." The document, which is both printed and handwritten, has also been signed by the principal owner of the schooner, William Davis, as well as two additional naval officers. This document dates from the time of the Revolutionary War, and it is interesting to note that the owners of the schooner had to not only declare where it was built, but to also affirm that "no subject of the king of Great-Britain, directly or indirectly has any share, part, or interest therein." John Hancock was one of the most important figures of the American Revolution and is best known today as the first signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Hancock 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. The fact that the offered piece is dated November 16, 1780, makes it one of the earliest known documents signed by Hancock in his capacity as governor. John Hancock is a requisite signature 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. The document (8 x 13 inches) displays irregular borders and three horizontal fold lines, as well as light scattered toning. The plain white seal of Massachusetts remains firmly affixed by wax in the upper left corner, just above Hancock's signature. In Excellent condition overall. The document has been mounted (most likely by means of adhesive) to a brown cardboard backing, which has in turn been matted and framed together with an illustrated portrait image of Hancock. Total dimensions: 30 x 24. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+.
SOLD FOR $3,851

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