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"Is this authentic?" - ask for opinions here

JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 14, 2021 11:06AM in Autographs Forum

I figured I would start a new thread where people could ask for opinions on authenticity.

I'll start. o:)

I came across these today. They all date from 2010 or 2011.

The first two are on letters from George HW Bush, whose signature had become sonewhat shaky and hesitant by then. (My last definite authentic letter from him in that era had a signature where he actually stopped and then restarted halfway through). I had not put them into an album which suggests I thought they were autopen or laser printed as part of the letter.

The first one has me second guessing my initial impression as it seems to have varying pen pressure. The second one needs more study - it is very thin and sharp and if not an autopen might be laser printed along with the text.

I know GHWB used an autopen as ex-president, and his final pattern was a little abbreviated and smaller like his real signature had become.

Any ideas?

This one from Donald Trump seems like it might be real. The thing that cracks me up is that the inscription says "Think Big" and is on a photo that measures 3x5 inches as my SASE was so small.

Thanks for any opinions.

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Comments

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think both George HW Bush’s are authentic especially given the time period they were signed. They do NOT look autopen to me.

    I got a Donald Trump too around the same time but mine was on a dollar bill and not personalized. I recall when I got it a lot of people were saying Trump ttm was secretarial. I still often wonder if that is true. Sadly the Trump signed dollar bill was sold as a lot of various questionable signed items that I sold during my big sell off period. I wish I saved a picture of it but I remember it looking similar to yours except signed in black sharpie and I remember others who got dollar bills signed all looked different so definitely not autopen.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    By the way, great idea for a thread. I have quite a few pictures I took of different autographs I saw at various flea markets, online and at other shows over the years that I wondered about their authenticity. I think I will post some of these later asking for opinions.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thx for the feedback.

    I am pretty sure I have one of GHWB's late autopens somewhere. I'll have to get these two letters in a sleeve and show them a little more respect.

    More research needed on the DR, then. I did get a book signed (he signed it on the cover :/ ) on the campaign trail in 2016, but it is such a hot mess I can't use it as a guide for comparison.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    Thx for the feedback.

    I am pretty sure I have one of GHWB's late autopens somewhere. I'll have to get these two letters in a sleeve and show them a little more respect.

    The only thing I would worry about with those letters is the possibility of it being printed with the letter (like you mentioned). If I could see these in person I could tell if they were printed or not — I have a good eye for that. You can maybe use a magnifier or something and see if it looks like the same ink as the text.

    More research needed on the DR, then. I did get a book signed (he signed it on the cover :/ ) on the campaign trail in 2016, but it is such a hot mess I can't use it as a guide for comparison.

    Yes, more research for sure. Is the one you got in 2016 in person or ttm? The later signatures definitely look different than The Apprentice era ones.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One of the Bush letters (the thicker one) has ink bleed on the back so that one is ink for sure.

    The Trump I got in 2016 in person and he put a "signature" across the book jacket. I'll come across it soon and post a picture.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    One of the Bush letters (the thicker one) has ink bleed on the back so that one is ink for sure.

    The Trump I got in 2016 in person and he put a "signature" across the book jacket. I'll come across it soon and post a picture.

    That first letter is then very likely authentic. It does not look autopen to me at all.

    Even though the later Trump signatures don’t look like much, you are very lucky you got an in person one. You know it’s real since you saw it signed. I believe those later ones will be very difficult for Beckett and PSA to authenticate due to their nature but you could always put a note with it mentioning when and where you got it signed and that it was signed in person. That way it gives it some background.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I always meant to look up the event in the CSPAN archives as they were there filming. I should see if they still have the footage.

  • mrburns443mrburns443 Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭

    Here’s a few I was considering having authenticated. The Koufax was given to me as a gift about 25 years ago, the others were from my father’s collection. I’m pretty sure but not 100% that the Mantle and Ali were obtained in person. What does everyone think? Thanks.




  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 17, 2021 11:23AM

    I am not an expert on any of them and I don't have examples handy to compare to, but the forms seem right.

    What I do know is that Mantle has lost some color (signature and photo) and should be kept away from light (sun, florescent).

    BTW, with the Mantle the inscription is as important as the signature when it comes to helping authentication. The writing looks good but you can compare to other inscriptions for reassurance.

  • mrburns443mrburns443 Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    I am not an expert on any of them and I don't have examples handy to compare to, but the forms seem right.

    What I do know is that Mantle has lost some color (signature and photo and should be kept away from light (sun, florescent).

    BTW, with the Mantle the inscription is as important as the signature when it comes to helping authentication. The writing looks good but you can compare to other inscriptions for reassurance.

    Thanks, I appreciate the response.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    BTW, I meant to add that those are some great names. Your father went for the best of the best.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @mrburns443 said:
    Here’s a few I was considering having authenticated. The Koufax was given to me as a gift about 25 years ago, the others were from my father’s collection. I’m pretty sure but not 100% that the Mantle and Ali were obtained in person. What does everyone think? Thanks.

    Not comparing them but at first glance those all look correct to me. Very nice autographs and great names.

  • mrburns443mrburns443 Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭

    @JMS1223 said:

    @mrburns443 said:
    Here’s a few I was considering having authenticated. The Koufax was given to me as a gift about 25 years ago, the others were from my father’s collection. I’m pretty sure but not 100% that the Mantle and Ali were obtained in person. What does everyone think? Thanks.

    Not comparing them but at first glance those all look correct to me. Very nice autographs and great names.

    Thanks, appreciate the feedback. I’ll update when I get the results. BTW does anyone have any experience with scheduling in person appointments at the PSA location in Jersey. I’m not too far and was thinking of doing that.

  • mrburns443mrburns443 Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    BTW, I meant to add that those are some great names. Your father went for the best of the best.

    Thanks. He had a ton of autos, unfortunately most were ruined in Hurricane Sandy and only the ones he had displayed survived. There’s a few more I have of his in storage that I’ll post when I get a chance. Here’s a George Bush that I’m going to get authenticated as well. This one I remember was from a private signing in 1997. I have all the original paperwork from that.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 17, 2021 2:58PM

    I was not aware GHWB did any private signings. Assuming he did, I am extremely jealous as he would normally only sign stuff from his presidential days - no photos of him with Babe Ruth, no WWII, etc.

    That signature certainly looks legit.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My only suggestion - and this is just my strong personal preference - is to not let them put a sticker on the item, or at least do it on the back.

  • mrburns443mrburns443 Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    My only suggestion - and this is just my strong personal preference - is to not let them put a sticker on the item, or at least do it on the back.

    Ok , thanks for the suggestion.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I saw this Elvis Presley autograph for sale at a show (asking $1000). It is signed with a very poor pen and the photo signed had the left top corner missing (did not take a picture of the whole thing). I was curious your opinion on if it’s authentic?

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 17, 2021 5:28PM

    EP scares me. I assume they are all fake or secretarial unless proven otherwise.

    What this one has going for it is that it seems to be signed in fountain pen, and is not a perfect signature as a forger might try to create. But could still be by his manager, for example.

    I know there are some recognized experts in music autographs.

  • collectmaniacollectmania Posts: 34
    edited September 29, 2021 12:48AM

    Ive studied EP for some yrs , unless its very early sig , imo i would not buy this (also its pretty faded)

    https://presleycollectibles.com/a-collectors-guide-to-elvis-signatures/


  • Electra (poster was sgd yr 2000)

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @collectmania said:
    Ive studied EP for some yrs , unless its very early sig , imo i would not buy this (also its pretty faded)

    https://presleycollectibles.com/a-collectors-guide-to-elvis-signatures/

    Thanks. That’s good to know.

  • I would like to add something i would like an opinion on. Its a magazine from 1964 with a number of Kennedy's family members signatures.
    Any help to know if they are legitimate.
    See photo

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I recognize a few as being generally in the style of the signer, but I can't actually authenticate them. If real, that is a great item!

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 8, 2021 9:45AM

    Here is one that I have already discussed with a member here offline. We had a good analysis discussion and our mutual opinion is that it might be real.

    I am curious to know if others have any opinions. Any opinions are welcome as long as they support it being real and not autopen. :D

    It is Bill Clinton on a recent letter. It is a nice personal letter that was sent in response to the same.

    I don't particularly like the dragged pen mark that represents the dot over the "i" in "Clinton". It looks like Haley's Comet.

    I do like the varying pen pressure in the first name, and I really like the little twist of the pen on the first "n" in "Clinton".

    I might add that BC's signature has become smaller and a little more shaky in recent years. His autopens have usually been smooth and bold. I also know from experience that his office does not reply to all or even most letters sent to him.

    Thanks for any feedback

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 15, 2021 12:16PM

    Since Kennedy is being featured here, I'll toss mine in for your feedback as to its authenticity. I wrote to Senator Ted Kennedy in February 1995, and mailed him a 1st printing paperback copy of his book "Decisions for a Decade". I got the book back autographed as shown. (I scanned this on my flatbed scanner and reduced the image to 33% of its original size because it was such a big .jpg file, so I hope that doesn't distort it too much.)

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks good to me. Nice autograph.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Teddy supposedly had some secretarials but from memory yours looks spot on, especially with the inscription.

  • ernie11ernie11 Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks, folks!

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was thinking about my former autograph collection and was thinking about the Obama signed book I had which I got in a trade.

    The person who traded it to me said they got it signed in person in 2008. I traded them an 8x10 photo signed by the entire cast and crew of the Walking Dead which I got signed in person. At the time that was valued at about $200.

    I ended up trading/selling this book in a lot of questionable items without COA since I was just trying to unload my entire collection at that point. Regret that now!

    Anyway, what do you guys think? Authentic or fake?

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    At first glance with no comparisons it looks like it could very well be good.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    At first glance with no comparisons it looks like it could very well be good.

    Ugh. I wish I didn’t just dump it in a random lot of questionable autographs now.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Found these for a pretty reasonable price so I took my chances.

    Not sure if this Barbara Bush is autopen or authentic (Paid $7)

    And the Betty Ford looks good to me but could it possibly be secretarial? (Paid $10)

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    BB did have autopens as First Lady and after, but I don't think she had many patterns so it should be easy to check.

    The Fords were very accessible for many years so I assume she's real.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    BB did have autopens as First Lady and after, but I don't think she had many patterns so it should be easy to check.

    The Fords were very accessible for many years so I assume she's real.

    Just checked the Barbara Bush and saw other signed bookplates like mine but they do not match 100% so I don’t think it’s autopen.

    The sad thing is I still do not have a George Bush or Gerald Ford, so I got to work on that but don’t want to pay a lot for them. Would had been nice if the bookstore I found these at had the Presidents too but sadly I missed them by a month. They told me a month ago they had Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Those are some real bargains from a bookstore.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    Those are some real bargains from a bookstore.

    First time I went to a Goodwill bookstore where they actually had a separate “signed” books section. Surprisingly I didn’t see any books over $10. The other signed books were not from people I was familiar with but they had about 30-50 signed books total. Those were the only two First Ladies. Sadly I missed out on the three U.S. Presidents they had by a month (Nixon, Ford and Carter). However I had never been to this bookstore before because I am on vacation here in Florida and decided to check it out today. So glad I did. The bookstores around where I live (Massachsetts) are much more upscale and if they have a signed book section you can bet they would be like $50-$100 each for names like Barbara Bush and Betty Ford. I usually only find signed books around here when they don’t realize they are signed and are being sold as just used books…and that’s at yard sales and such.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This one is personalized but much cheaper (right now $130 cheaper) but I was concerned it didn’t look like her usual signatures, like ever so slightly different looking to me. Is this maybe an older signature?

    This one is not personalized and looks more like the signatures of hers I am used to seeing. However it is a LOT more money and probably will be out of my price range by the time auction ends.

    Right now I am not going to mention where these are because I don’t want to create new bidders/competition. I am kind of hoping to spend around $300 after fees/shipping but with the way both these items are going, it will look more like $500 for at least the non-personalized one. :'(

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know much about RP autographs except that I probably could have gotten her years ago but that was pre-internet and not so easy to get addresses.

    The bottom one especially seems to compare very favorably to others I saw online. But like your Thurgood M I'd be patient and selective and get one you really like.

    I continue to be amazed at how many historical autographs from the past few decades have skyrocketed in value. Back in the day Presidents were the most valuable, but at $500 that RP exceeds the value of a majority of US Presidents in just a signature format.

    I have to wonder if there is some premium due to people remembering their accomplishments, that might dissipate over time a bit. Or, this may be the run up to their true value.

  • bronzematbronzemat Posts: 2,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    I don't know much about RP autographs except that I probably could have gotten her years ago but that was pre-internet and not so easy to get addresses.

    The bottom one especially seems to compare very favorably to others I saw online. But like your Thurgood M I'd be patient and selective and get one you really like.

    I continue to be amazed at how many historical autographs from the past few decades have skyrocketed in value. Back in the day Presidents were the most valuable, but at $500 that RP exceeds the value of a majority of US Presidents in just a signature format.

    I have to wonder if there is some premium due to people remembering their accomplishments, that might dissipate over time a bit. Or, this may be the run up to their true value.

    Maybe it has to do with the "Black Lives" movement and some people are noticing her history more than ever, especially the younger generations and are looking to buy historical black figures.

    I focus on golden Hollywood & most are down the past few years, but Dorothy Dandridge has gone up big time and even obscure silent film black actresses no one really cares about like Nina May Mckinney are in demand.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:

    The bottom one especially seems to compare very favorably to others I saw online. But like your Thurgood M I'd be patient and selective and get one you really like.

    I continue to be amazed at how many historical autographs from the past few decades have skyrocketed in value. Back in the day Presidents were the most valuable, but at $500 that RP exceeds the value of a majority of US Presidents in just a signature format.

    Yeah, I am thinking if I bid on either of them it will be the FDC one. I like it because it looks better and isn’t personalized. Right now the next big would put me at $450 after 25% premium and fees/shipping but I will watch and bid last day and if it stays that way I will do the next bid but can’t go beyond that as it would exceed $500.

    Rosa Parks could very well be more remembered than most recent Presidents in decades to come so I can understand her signature being more valuable than say Bush, Clinton, Carter, Nixon etc. She also was a tough singer so that factors in too.

    For an interesting comparison Paul McCartney’s autograph alone now brings around $2000! Used to be around $600-$700 10-15 years ago.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bronzemat said:

    Maybe it has to do with the "Black Lives" movement and some people are noticing her history more than ever, especially the younger generations and are looking to buy historical black figures.

    I focus on golden Hollywood & most are down the past few years, but Dorothy Dandridge has gone up big time and even obscure silent film black actresses no one really cares about like Nina May Mckinney are in demand.

    Ohhh that makes a LOT of sense. Explains the jumps in MLK Jr. and Thurgood Marshall.

    But still the McCartney thing shocked me. I know Disney+ just released that Beatles documentary so that could had spiked interest in the Beatles and their autographs. Have not really noticed too much of a jump in the other Beatles autographs though, mostly McCartney’s.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 31, 2021 9:10AM

    @bronzemat said:

    @JBK said:
    I don't know much about RP autographs except that I probably could have gotten her years ago but that was pre-internet and not so easy to get addresses.

    The bottom one especially seems to compare very favorably to others I saw online. But like your Thurgood M I'd be patient and selective and get one you really like.

    I continue to be amazed at how many historical autographs from the past few decades have skyrocketed in value. Back in the day Presidents were the most valuable, but at $500 that RP exceeds the value of a majority of US Presidents in just a signature format.

    I have to wonder if there is some premium due to people remembering their accomplishments, that might dissipate over time a bit. Or, this may be the run up to their true value.

    Maybe it has to do with the "Black Lives" movement and some people are noticing her history more than ever, especially the younger generations and are looking to buy historical black figures.

    I focus on golden Hollywood & most are down the past few years, but Dorothy Dandridge has gone up big time and even obscure silent film black actresses no one really cares about like Nina May Mckinney are in demand.

    Yes, no doubt that is part of it.

    I have some stuff from Gen. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., the first black Air Force General (his father, BOD Sr., was the first black general, in the Army). I'd probably be shocked to see what those are going for now.

    As an example of how things have evolved, his status as mentioned above was his main claim to fame when I was writing to him in the 1990s, but he has subsequently also been celebrated as the leader of the Tuskeehee Airmen during WWII.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 31, 2021 9:19AM

    @JMS1223 said:

    But still the McCartney thing shocked me. I know Disney+ just released that Beatles documentary so that could had spiked interest in the Beatles and their autographs. Have not really noticed too much of a jump in the other Beatles autographs though, mostly McCartney’s.

    It's really funny how that can work sometimes.

    The last or nearly last survivor or member of some famous team/group often becomes more popular/valuable because they become better known. (I know, Ringo is still with us, too!).

    As an example, the late Milvina Dean as the last living survivor from the Titanic is by far one of the most common of the survivors, but I'll bet her autograph is an easier sale than a lot if them.who are far scarcer and less well known.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I just looked at the auction and someone bid the $360 bid which after the 25% premium is $450. The next bid is $396 ($495). Hmm

    This is on RRAuction - I figure I can reveal that now. Still debating if I should do that $396 bid since technically it would still be under my $500 threshold. Hmm

    I NEVER see Rosa Parks signatures on eBay anymore - just overpriced ones starting at $700 for an index card or $2000 for a signed check.

    So I took at look at past auctions on RRAuction and the last time they had ANY Rosa Parks was on March 10th, 2021. They run auctions every month so I found that unusual they don’t always have Rosa Parks (in comparison they always have at least one or two Abraham Lincoln signed items each month). Anyway, this is what they had in March 2021 - similar to the one being auctioned now:

    And guess what it sold for? $344 AFTER premium!

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Patience is the key. ;)

    I'd understand if you went one higher on the current one but as you found, cheaper ones are out there on occassion.

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 31, 2021 10:54AM

    @JBK said:
    Patience is the key. ;)

    I'd understand if you went one higher on the current one but as you found, cheaper ones are out there on occassion.

    I just looked on eBay at ended auctions and was shocked at what I found. I found FDC’s have sold between $440 and $750 depending on if personalized and sometimes nature of FDC (if less relevant to Rosa Parks, such as a North Dakota statehood anniversary FDC, then it brought a little less). The signed index card I saw for $700 SOLD for $750! One of her books, personalized, sold for $360 (cheapest authentic one I saw), or $660-$750 for non-personalized!

    That newspaper clipping that I saw earlier this year that I bid $100 on and lost for $150 got resold and brought $175 this time! And this one was on a very undesirable format since picture is very small and not the best picture, on acidic newspaper, signature very small and cramped and the newspaper clipping is a little wrinkled. Only desirable thing about it is it’s not personalized.

    A very nice 8x10 of her signed sitting on the bus sold for over $1500! Unfortunately the authentication sticker was on the back of the photo (instead of on COA) :'(

    The signed check I mentioned is actually currently a BIN for a little under $5,000 instead of the $2000 I thought. Only other thing currently available is a book for $650. So very slim pickings for Rosa Parks. Like I said she was a tough signer in her lifetime. I bet Neil Armstrong signed more autographs than she did given Armstrong actually signed ttm for a period of time. Of course it’s up for debate who is more historical. But both autographs right now are bringing about the same. ($500+ for index card, $2000+ for photo etc).

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow!

  • JMS1223JMS1223 Posts: 1,093 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2022 8:09AM

    Just an update. I decided to bid the $396 ($495 after premium). Placed my bid two days ago and guess what? Just got an email that I got outbid! Ten days still left. :o

    Guess I will have to wait for another to come along…might be until March 2023 for all I know. Just took another look on eBay out of curiosity - a lot of listings for her lawyer’s autograph (auction titles say “Rosa Parks’ lawyer” so they comes up), but after looking through all that stuff, I noticed quite a few Rosa Parks signed items…books, photos, checks etc. all starting at $1,000 each and up (some as much as almost $10K). I somewhat expected the photo of both MLK Jr and Parks to be signed by both but nope, only Parks signed it…all for the great price of $3999.99 :o

    Of course there are the fake autographs too, some being sold as printed, and some forgeries including an index card. Will be interesting to see how high that forgery brings.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is amazing what people are trying to get.

    I say just be patient. You can hopefully do better price-wise.

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