Purchaser's autograph checklist
- Known Provenance and history
- Look for obvious dates or spelling mistake
- Age of photos. Obvious examples are recent Moviemarket 10 x 8 photos signed amazingly by people who died 30 years ago!
- Type of pen used. Beware black sharpie and felt pens did not really exist until the 1980’s. Silver and Gold pens till the 1990’s. So fully signed 10 x 8’s and LPs from the 1970’s in felt pens by Led Zeppelin and The Sex Pistols cannot be genuine!
- Sizes and positions of autographs on pages and photos.
- Idiosyncrasies / style / comparisons of the signer
- Research the celebrity’s life and provenance. The Internet can make this easy.
- Dedications / extra words are often reassuring for authenticity as a forger would rarely do this. However research whether they may be secretarial. Dedications will often reduce value by at least 30%
- Types of photos. Learn to spot prints. No impact of pen onto paper or no lift from ink.
- Stamped signatures display ink shading around the character.
- Autopens produce squiggles rather than straight lines often a uniform thickness with no point of initial contact on the page.
- Look for absorption of ink paper. Ink has a sheen.
- Do not display autographs where there is direct sunlight as they will fade.
- Store autographs in acid free sleeves. Mount autographs using acid free products.
- A Certificate of Authenticity from a unknown company or without an image is worthless