Bill Clinton – The Forgers of his Autograph are Having a Field Day using Deception. BEWARE OF SIGNED BOOKS!

Written by Stephen Koschal on Monday, 23 November 2015. Posted in Autograph forgeries

by Stephen Koschal (,

Anyone who has been around awhile in this hobby will tell you “times have changed.”  Forgers are having a field day pulling the wool over the eyes of many newcomers in this hobby.

Besides the forgers, collectors must be aware of the unethical sellers of autographs that have besieged this hobby since the early 1990s.  Many feel the nicer the web site of these sellers, the more you have to be cautious.  In many cases the statements made by some of these sellers are ludicrous.  They will stoop so low to lie about their education and most anything else to get attention.  The documented sophomoric mistakes they have made speak for themselves.  Know who you are buying from!!!

The latest horrific dealing is with books that are said to be signed by their author.  Books signed by their authors were basically considered to be genuine years ago.  Forging signatures in books dating back to the last century were few and far between. Today, secretarial signatures, Autopen signatures, preprinted signatures on bookplates  and forged signatures are becoming somewhat common.

For this article, as an example, I will use books said to be signed by former President Bill Clinton.

What the unscrupulous seller of autographs does is go to an actual book signing taking along with them friends and even children. They will take a picture of Bill Clinton signing a book and make enough copies of that picture to cover the amount of books they will try to purchase.

Clinton story_1

Bill Clinton Signing copies of My Life

The same person may also take the flyer from the book signing and photocopy it and insert it in each copy of the book. One nasty individual who practices this deception has gone to the Clinton Library and has purchased “Official” Clinton bookmarks and placed them in the books.

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Clinton Presidential Center bookmark

At the book signing, every copy that Bill Clinton actually signed gets an “Autograph Copy” sticker on the dust jacket.  The unscrupulous now has a very nice genuine signed book by former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton story_3

Dust Jacket with “Autograph Copy” label from the original signing

At a later date, what this individual does is purchase the same amount of unsigned Bill Clinton books that they actually bought at the book signing.  First thing they do is forge the signature of Bill Clinton in the new books they purchased at used book stores or thrift shops. To the trained eye the forgeries are very poorly executed.

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Forged signature of Bill Clinton with nice provenance, the dust jacket with “Autograph Copy” label

Clinton story_5

A different forger signed this copy, with  nice provenance, the dust jacket with “Autograph Copy” label

Not to be outdone, one of these books contains the following slip indicating the book was signed at a Chappaqua, New York bookshop. Chappaqua, New York is the home of Bill Clinton. The slip indicates this book is copy number 1423.

Clinton story_6

Original label stating a book is Copy #1423

The forgers of this book included everything from the original signing except the fact that they switched the books. The forger sold the forged copy to a collector and kept for themselves the original genuinely signed book.

Thanks go to the collectors who sent in these books for an additional authentication. It was this way we were able piece together this educational story.

As always, collectors should avoid bargains and make a better point of knowing from whom you are purchasing.  It is always recommended that collectors purchase from dealers who are members of a reputable autograph club like the AdA.

Deutsche Zusammenfassung

Steve warnt vor skrupellosen Fälschern, die es besonders auf Sammler-Anfänger bzw. unerfahrene Sammler abgesehen haben. Man soll nicht unbedingt gut gemachten Websites vertrauen. Er rät dringend, nur bei seriösen Händlern zu kaufen.

Anhand von signierten Büchern des ehemaligen Präsidenten Bill Clinton (1993-2001) stellt er dar, wie die Betrüger vorgehen. Sie gehen mit Freunden zu einer offiziellen Signierstunde und machen so viele Fotos von dem schreibenden Clinton wie sie später unsignierte Bücher kaufen (Bild 1). Sie nehmen offizielle Flyer von der Signierstunde mit und vervielfältigen sie, um sie den Büchern beizulegen. Einige besorgen sich auch originale Clinton-Lesezeichen von der Clinton Library (Bild 2). Die Bücher werden mit einem offiziellen Aufkleber versehen (Bild 3). Die Unterschrift des ehemaligen Präsidenten wird gefälscht (Bild 4 und 5). Und damit nicht genug: eines der besagten Bücher enthält eine Beilage, dass es in einer bestimmten Buchhandlung in New York signiert wurde; es trägt zudem die „offizielle“ Nummer 1423 (Bild 6). 

Zusammengefasst besteht der Trick darin, dass die Fälscher die gleiche Zahl der original signierten Bücher unsigniert erwerben, mit allen offiziellen Utensilien einschließlich Foto der „Unterzeichnung“ versehen und dann die Unterschrift fälschen. Die Originale behanten sie natürlich. Also nochmal: nur bei seriösen Händlern kaufen!

About the Author

Stephen Koschal

Stephen Koschal

Established 1967.

Autograph dealer with inventory in all fields of collecting.

Author, autograph authenticator and advocate of autograph education.



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