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  • Rare autographs real or fake

    Posted on September 7, 2012 by Selby

    This is a preview of a draft about hand signed sports memorabilia which I am writing  in order to assist autograph collectors in deciding whether the signature is genuine or fake.

    Feel free to comment on any improvements I can make???

    AUTOGRAPHS REAL OR FAKE

    The origins of the autograph

    An autograph may be defined as “any manuscript handwritten by its author; a handwritten signature especially the signature of a famous or admired person.

    The origins of hand signed autographs can be traced back to sixth century ancient Greece however none survive from this period, in fact The earliest autograph, signature of a famous person is probably the Spanish national hero and military leader El Cid  dated 1096 three years before his death.

    .Autographs of most of the great Renaissance figures, including Leonardo da Vinci,Michelangelo, and Ariosto. Still exist however autograph material was to become more prevalent during the 18th century with examples such as George Washington president of the USA or the composer Mozart’s manuscripts.

    A signed letter is more desirable than an autograph as usually the letter contains aspects of the person’s life and work which is why they are so collectable.

    Autograph collation today

    The hobby of collecting autographs is known as philography

    A Philographist or autograph hunter may well focus in one specialised area say sports memorabilia and only collect signatures and associated paraphernalia from say, sports events,  personalities, writers, political figures, art, film, music, world leaders, space travel or conflict etc.

    Autograph collation is an ever popular and rewarding occupation for the professional and amateur alike, the objective being to aspire to obtaining complete sets from each area of their subject in the case of say cricket collectables the 1948 Ashes series, the ink autographs of both England and Australians teams on one official programme, bat or scorecard used at the event would be more desirable than a mismatch.

    Is it a genuine autograph?

    There are numerous forged autographs for sale all over the world not least on the internet and it is a case of buyer beware.

    Rare autograph collectors often request from the vendor certificates of authenticity, it stands to reason that if the seller of a forged item is offering a COA that the certificate is also worthless. It is not a good idea to rely on either guarantees or certificates.

    If a purchaser decides to accept a certificate of authenticity they should ensure that it contains full contact details, dates, venues, and verifiable reputable organisations of which the vendor is responsible to, these details should be followed up with the named organisation.

    PADA, the UACC and AFTAL publish websites from where you can check a listed dealer’s credibility.

    Ascertaining the validity of a carefully crafted fake autograph is a complex matter which is almost impossible for the amateur and the results cannot always be definitive even when a professional opinion is requested.

    One basic method used by unscrupulous vendors is the reprint. This is a photocopy of an actual autographed photo, usually printed from a home computer on to photographic copying paper, this should be declared as a reprint or as preprinted, it is not an authentic autograph and is pretty worthless, unless an existing photo has been autographed later onto the outside surface.

    More sophisticated forgers will target a certain era say 1880s they will use blank pages from books of the same period, then having researched and recreated the inks used at that time they will endeavor to create the replica autograph now using the correct materials, obviously if the copy writing is well researched and applied it is very difficult to detect by an autograph expert but not so by a forensic technician, the technician will be able to age the paper and ink and also to date the document  even when accelerated ageing has taken place.

    Collectors should be careful of rare autographs which may be found on a small piece of card when the bogus card is attached to an authentic piece of memorabilia.

    Frequently secretaries will sign autograph material on behalf of the celebrity creating what is known as a proxy signature. Fortunately it is often well publicized that this is a trait of that particular subject.

    A number of famous people including American presidents Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt have in the past convincingly rubber stamped their “signatures “the result would not be considered  a collectable.

    SEE AUTHENTICITY CHECK LIST

    View with magnifying glass X10 under direct light)

    Seek out a genuine example of the signature from internet comparison sites and use this as your datum point. The main criteria are to know what the signature looks like.

    Move the underside of your wrist or finger over the paper and expect to feel a slight irregularity when you touch the outline of the signature, examine the signature with a magnifying glass (+10) and search for any rising in the area of the signature. If you cannot determine the texture of the raised ink above surface of the paper it is likely to be a copy.

    Examine the ink pattern, look for squeezing at the edges which would indicate stamping, this is usually fairly easy to determine. A shaded purple colour ink can also indicate stamping.

    Compare the autograph with your example, turn the page at 90 degree angle and examine the autographs, then at 180 degrees, doing this  will show a different perspective of the writing comparison, anomalies will stand out and be easier to spot.

    Autographs which are mechanically created are identified by their smoothness and uniform ink deposit throughout the signature. A genuine pen hand signed autograph will show under magnification, a different diameter of stroke, the rate of the wet ink flow as the nib angles, scratch marks, clear areas within the stroke, and the continuous flow of the pen over the paper. A stop and start movement within a stroke would show a hesitant copying technique, you must see that the line flow is uninterrupted and the pen stays mainly on the paper if it is interrupted it will show in stroke breaks.

    Comparison of pen lifts which are absent from the genuine subject are a sure fire method to determine a fake, these are typical of a forgery in which the writer pauses to check his handiwork.

    Look for a lack of feathered beginning and ending strokes, a fake will tend to have blunt stops and starts.

    A lack of certainty in direction may show abrupt movements creating a kinked appearance to a line which should flow smoothly

    When a nib pen is used expect to see light hairline upstrokes and heavy shaded down stokes in a genuine signature, this will not be so noticeable if a ball point pen is used

    Consider the time factors if for example an autograph dated around 1950 is signed with a felt pen it is a fake as felt pens did not exist at this time and the autograph should be signed in ink or pencil. The Papermate flair felt tip was not manufactured until the early ‘60s, commercial ball point pens became available in 1943 and so on. Research is the key.

    Signed sports memorabilia such as a football shirt or cricket cap can be hard to assess as the ink tends to soak into the fabric giving a smudge like appearance which is difficult to validate, the only way to be sure is to be there at the signing or rely on provenance from a reputable dealer.

    If the asking price for an item of sports memorabilia is way below a realistic valuation don’t bother purchasing as it’s probably a fake.

    The more signatures there are on a piece, the more mistakes there are to spot. Compare an autograph sheet with half a dozen genuine signatures with one containing fakes and it easy to spot the real ones.

    Consider the characteristics of period the autograph purports to belong to, examine the paper used, does the magnified make up match the type used in that era. The specification of the paper may give valuable clues as to the approximate age parameters of theautograph.

    Since biblical times vellum or parchment was the type of paper in use this changed around 1850 to the use of wood, cotton or linen pulp, so if you are lucky enough to have the autograph of William Pitt (died 1806) it should be signed on vellum type of paper, Charles Dickens (died 1870) could be either or Alfred Tennyson (died 1892) most probably signed on a wood pulp type paper.

    Don’t forget that paper can be matched using cut out pages from writings of a similar time.

    Examine ink colour, does the make up under magnification match the characteristics of the period, iron gall ink was popular from about the 12th century up until new technologies made it obsolete around 1850,  this ink is bluish black, over time it fades to dull brown. It is a corrosive ink and over time can damage the paper it is used on. Since the early 1900s Indian ink (carbon) has become the popular one manufactured in a range of colours.

    Micro-spectrophotometry is a non-destructive method of analysing ink using ultraviolet of infrared light, the spectrum of the ink on the document can be compared with a range of standard inks, this can authentic the ink but not the author. However it does narrow things down and makes for a more informed decision.

    Think about how, when and why a rare autograph originated and in what numbers it is available, if the seller has a number of copies of a rare autograph you must ask yourself why?

    Never ever enter a private auction sale; always look for transparency on the internet

    Written by Selby

    http://cricketcollectables.net>

    tony@cricketcollectables.net

     

     

     


    This post was posted in Cricket memorabilia, Boxing memorabilia, Motor racing memorabilia, Athletics memorabilia, Film and music memorabilia, Football memorabilia, Rugby memorabilia, Political memorabilia, Golf memorabilia, Olympics Memorabilia and was tagged with cricket memorabilia, football memorabilia, tennis memorabilia, cricket collectables, Don Bradman Memorabilia, Alexei Nemov Olympic Memorabilia, test match memorabilia, bodyline memorabilia, collecting autographs, cricket autographs, sports autigraphs

  • Ray Ewry Olympic Memorabilia

    Posted on February 22, 2012 by Selby

     



    Ray Ewry Olympic Memorabilia

    “The Human Frog” 8 Times Olympic Gold Medallist, arguably the most successful Olympian ever – the Master of Standing Jumps.

    Ray Ewry (1873 – 1937) born in Indiana USA. Ray was a Track and Field Athlete who won 10 Gold Medals, 8 at the Olympic Games and 2 at the Intercalated Games in 1906 in Athens. Ray Ewry Olympic Memorabilia is sought after on both sides of the Atlantic and is regarded as a prized asset in any portfolio.

    Michael Phelps having achieved 9 Olympic Medals in individual events still holds the overall record.

    Ray, who contracted Polio as a child fought the illness with continual leg strengthening, jumping exercises, which enabled him to walk again, it may well be this regime of exercise that helped him become a Champion Standing Jumper. Ray attended the prestigious Purdue University Lafayette, Indiana in 1890, he studied Mechanical Engineering whilst Captain of the Track team, becoming a member of the Sigma Nu Fratern society. It is significant to note that renowned USA sprinterWilma Rudolph Triple Gold Medallist at Rome in the 1960 Summer Games also overcame this debilitating ailment

    In 1890 Ray 6’3” by now, led the school to a long awaited track title; competing in the State Championship later that year he achieved wins in the Standing Broad Jump and the Standing and Running High Jumps. On graduation from Purdue Ray relocated to New York City where he put his ME degree to good use carrying out various Civil Eng. Works.

    In 1899 Ray joined the New York Athletic Club, where he was selected for the 1900 Paris Olympics, following incredible performances in the standing high jump, standing long jump and standing triple jump the awestruck French spectators christened him the “human frog”. Ray won all 3 standing jumps at the Games. He walked away the winner of 3 Gold Medals.

    Incidentally Swimming events took place in the River Seine sometimes against the tide; Cricket was a listed event along with Croquet, Tug of War and Live Pigeon shooting.

    Ray Ewry Olympic Memorabilia is rare and therefore sought after by collectors,  04,06,08 Olympic Games would be welcome additions as would London 1908, only occasionally are authentic items offered for sale at the popular Auction Houses Knights, Bonham’s, Leski  for example.

    Items that would be of interest include: Committee Reports, Tickets, Badges, Participation Medals/pins, Booklets, Rules and Regulations, Plaques, Pocket Watches, Autographs, Real Photo Postcards (printed pre 1924) and much more…….

    The 1904 St Louis Olympic Games saw Ray repeat his Paris performance and take a further 3 Gold Medal plus a World Record in the standing long jump.

    1906 he competed in the 10th Anniversary Athens Olympics winning 2 Gold Medals.

    In 1908 at the Olympiad London Ray won a further 2 Gold Medals.

    Following his 1908 triumphs Ray returned to New York and in his unassuming way put his ME capabilities to good use on a number of Civil Engineering projects.

    Ray was honoured by the following institutions:

    Elected to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1973.

    Elected to the US Olympic Hall of Fame 1983.

    His Olympic Achievements are listed below:

    3 Gold 1900 Paris Olympic Games:  Standing High Jump, Long Jump and Triple Jump.

    3 Gold 1904 St Louis Olympic Games: Standing High Jump, Long Jump and Triple Jump.

    2 Gold 1908 London Olympic Games: Standing High Jump, Long Jump.

    Intercalated Games

    2 Gold 1906 Athens, Standing High Jump, Long Jump.

    I recently wrote an article called “Rare Autographs Real or Fake” I would strongly recommend prospective on line purchasers read this, as it may help you avoid the many pitfalls encountered when purchasing Memorabilia.

    Collecting Olympic Memorabilia in all classes can be a great hobby or small business; I wish you luck with your collecting.

    Let me know how you get on?

    Tony Selby

    Olympic Memorabilia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    This post was posted in Athletics memorabilia, Olympics Memorabilia and was tagged with olympics memorabilia, sports memorabilia, sports collectables, olympic collectables, gymnastic memorabilia, Alexei Nemov Olympic Memorabilia, Ray Ewry Olympic Memorabilia

  • Alexei Nemov Olympic Memorabilia

    Posted on February 16, 2012 by Selby

     


    Alexei Nemov Olympic Memorabilia

    12 Times Olympic Medallist, Russian Athlete Nemov is One of the Greatest Gymnasts of our time.

    He is renowned for his charismatic appeal and his highly competitive spirit.

    His many successes and likeable character have made Alexei Nemov Olympic Memorabilia popular with Collectors who wish to add his triumphs to their portfolio.

    At 14 he joined the Soviet Junior squad and began training at the National Training Centre at Round Lake.

    At 16 he made his first international appearance in the April 1993 World Championships at the National Exhibition Centre Birmingham, he finished a creditable fifth in the floor exercises.

    He won his first Major all-round title in 1994 at the Goodwill Games at the Kirov Stadium in St Petersburg, beating Aleksei Voropaev the World Champion Silver Medallist by 1.25 points, on this occasion he was awarded more Medals at the Championship than any other athlete 4 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze.

    .  He racked up 6 Medals at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta including Gold in the Team and Vault, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze.

    Over the next few years Nemov was plagued with recurring shoulder injuries and he did not appear to be able to consolidate his outstanding success of 1996, although he did earn Gold at the Lausanne World Championships and 2 more at Tianjin, he also won Gold in the 1998 European Championships at St Petersburg.

    The best was to come at the 2000 Sydney Olympics where again he showed his earlier amazingly versatile talents and to the spectators delight won 6 Medals, Gold in the all-round and High bar, Silver floor, Bronze in the Team, Horse and Parallel bars, what a tremendous come back.

    The following is a Tally of Alexei Nemov Olympic Medals:

    2000 Sydney Gold  (2) Silver (1) Bronze (3)

    1996 Atlanta Gold (2) Silver (1) Bronze (3)

    Alexei Nemov Olympic Memorabilia is sought after especially when it features his most memorable events, Collectables that particularly appeal to me are listed below:

    1993 and early events as a junior

    1994 Goodwill Games Kirov Stadium

    1994 European Championships Prague

    1996 Olympic Games Atlanta

    2000 Olympic Games Sydney

    2004 Olympic Games Athens

    Olympic Memorabilia which I tend to collect is usually Pre or soon after WW2, often this is not possible as modern competitors are becoming very popular, the modern tendency is towards Presentations, Montages, autographed photos, cards, posters, vests, caps, worn sportswear etc. I would include the following Collectable items:

    Programmes, participation medals, ribbons and bars, press tickets, badges, stamp strips, badges and commemorative items, committee reports.

    Collecting Olympic Memorabilia can be great fun and a rewarding hobby or small business.

    Good luck with your collecting

    Let me know how you get on???

    Tony Selby

    Athletics Memorabilia


    This post was posted in Athletics memorabilia, Olympics Memorabilia and was tagged with olympics memorabilia, sports memorabilia, sports collectables, athletics memorabilia, olympic collectables, Alexei Nemov Olympic Memorabilia

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