Reuters reports today that a polite but laconic one-sentence letter from J.D. Salinger to his maid is currently listed on eBay with a $50,000 price tag. As the New York Times' Dave Itzkoff wryly notes, that's "about $2,083.33 a word" -- no small sum for a glorified kitchen-counter memo (albeit one left behind by an iconic literary hermit).
Other historical items listed on eBay by the same dealer are are even more expensive. Among them is a note ostensibly sent by Herman Melville to his publisher, George P. Putnam, which reads only, "Dear Sir: Re-enclosed is the proof. Very truly yours, H Melville." It can be yours for $95,000 -- plus $19 shipping and handling.
If your tastes run more to the political, a document described as bearing George Washington's signature can be obtained for $150,000; a telegram "signed and annotated" by Lenin in 1921 is available for the slightly lower fee of $110,000.
By these standards, seller History for Sale's less expensive items -- such as this autographed note from Wolf Blitzer, advertised at $69 -- are downright affordable.