Time and time again, a piece of a history will surface itself in a plethora of different ways. When we find such things, many questions arise. Where did it come from? Is it authentic? How old is it? How much is it worth? For such questions, John Reznikoff has proven to be one of the world’s most trusted individuals for the answers. Founder of University Archives, the premier hub for historically collectible items, Reznikoff has built his knowledge for such things into a full-fledged, reputable, and enthusiastic career.
It’s no surprise that he carries this enthusiasm, because he trained with the Illuminati of autographs, the late Charles Hamilton. His other mentors included the late Robert Batchelder and Robert Tollett. In fact, Tollett’s heirs selected Reznikoff to purchase the 7-figure estate. Another great influence in Reznikoff’s life was the late Robert A. Siegel, namesake of the philatelic firm which continues to be a leader in the field nearly 80 years after its inception. Siegel was a grandfatherly figure to Reznikoff, and helped him launch his full-time career at age 18.
The University Companies began in 1979, but it was more than 10 years before that time that Reznikoff first started as a collector. At 8 years of age, Reznikoff was given some stamps by his grandmother, who had years before escaped Nazi Germany. At age 13, his mother would ferry him back and forth to various trade shows and watch proudly as her son conducted business from one table to another.
Reznikoff is one of few people in his trade who can claim the Triple Crown of collectibles: 2 Honus Wagner baseball cards, 3 Inverted Jenny (C3A) stamps, and Declaration Signer Button Gwinnett, the rarest of American autographs. In his 30 years in business, he has bought and sold over $200 million in collectibles. He has helped build some of the greatest collections in the history of autograph collecting, including for several individuals who are household names. On behalf of clients, he has built at least a dozen near-sets of Signers of the Declaration of Independence. He has supplied five William Henry Harrison documents as President. He has sold approximately 50 printings of the Declaration of Independence, including about 20 from the Peter Force printings of the Stone engraving. He has sold hundreds of letters and documents written by “The Big Three”, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson.
The famed collector is an innovator in the field of relics, and even holds a Guinness Book of Records entry for this field. Currently, University Archives owns two of John F. Kennedy’s cars, Ernest Hemingway’s typewriter, Annie Oakley’s gun, and Abraham Lincoln’s desk; amongst many others of the world’s greatest treasures.
Reznikoff has been a fearless crusader to identify and eliminate theft and forgery within the industry. He has worked with many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, and has helped put several fraudsters in prison. John is a tireless supporter of many charities, both local and international. He has over the years worked very closely with Paul Newman’s “Hole in the Wall Gang” charity, which provides support to terminally ill children. John raises a large and busy family. On top of his accomplishments, John is also an avid tri-athlete, martial artist, and has trained with the US Navy Seals as well as other widely-respected foreign military forces. John encourages history lovers and fellow collectors alike to use JohnReznikoff.com to follow along in putting together history’s puzzle, one piece at a time.