Commonly Used Abbreviations and Terms
ALS - Autograph Letter Signed
A letter entirely handwritten by the individual noted
ANS - Autograph Note Signed
A shorter ALS, often to an unspecified recipient
AQS - Autograph Quotation Signed
e.g. “There is only one thing worse than stupidity: That is wit,” signed “Emile Zola”.
AMQS - Autograph Musical Quotation Signed
e.g. Sousa boldly pens three bars from Stars And Stripes Forever, signing underneath “John Philip Sousa”.
DS - Document Signed
Usually a form either typed, partially typewritten or written in another hand with the purpose of transmitting or preserving information, e.g. legal agreements and contracts, military appointments, resignations, land grants, requisitions, et al
A signature found on the reverse side of a check; signature signifying receipt. May also include comments or notations. A presidential or military endorsement often includes instructions for following up a request.
Ephemera - An unsigned item
Ephemera is displayed in brackets (e.g. [Marilyn Monroe]. Personally-owned sunglasses).
FDC - First Day Cover
An envelope or other document stamped “First Day of Issue”. If not stamped with “First Day of Issue”, item is a commemorative cover.
Inscribed - “Personalized”
ISP - Inscribed Signed Photograph
A photograph that is signed and inscribed (e.g. “To Jim, Best wishes, Arnold Palmer”).
LS - Letter Signed
A letter written in another hand (usually a secretary or subordinate) and signed by the individual noted.
Mock check - as the name implies, not an actual check
e.g. mock printed personal check, drawn from the Watergate National Bank, 6 x 3.25, issued to Gerald Ford for $1,000,000.00 and dated September 8, 1974, but signed at a later date in blue ballpoint “Richard Nixon”.
An excerpt from a speech, book, film, etc. or an account of an incident, typed by a collector or other third party and signed by the individual noted, e.g. Souvenir typescript of the Supreme Court decision of the George Bush versus Al Gore case concerning the Florida voting, signed across the top of the first page in black ink by Justice Clarence Thomas.
SP - Signed Photograph
The area on the baseball where the stitched lines are closest together.
TLS - Typed Letter Signed
A typewritten letter signed by the individual noted.