Autograph Collecting: How to spot a forgery

Autograph collecting can be a fascinating hobby, but it's important to be able to spot a forgery to ensure that you are getting an authentic autograph.

Here are some tips for spotting an autograph forgery:

1. Authenticity: Start by researching the signature to determine what it should look like. Study authentic examples of the person's signature, including those found in books, documents, and online. Pay close attention to details such as the size, shape, and slant of the letters.

2. Paper and ink: Check the paper and ink used to sign the autograph. If the ink appears smudged or if the paper is not consistent with the time period when the signature was allegedly signed, it could be a forgery.

3. Pressure: Look at the pressure used to sign the autograph. A genuine signature will have varying pressure throughout the signature, while a forged signature may appear flat or even in pressure.

4. Consistency: Check the consistency of the signature across different items. If the same signature appears on multiple items but with slight variations, it could be a sign of forgery.

5. Authenticity certificate: Check for a certificate of authenticity (COA) from a reputable authentication service. A COA is a document that accompanies an autograph to verify its authenticity, and it can be a helpful tool in identifying forgeries.

6. Professional opinion: Consider getting a professional opinion from a reputable autograph appraiser or authentication service. They will have the expertise and experience to identify forgeries and verify the authenticity of an autograph.

7. Price: Be wary of autographs that are being sold for significantly less than their market value. If a deal seems too good to be true, it could be a sign of forgery.

About your Author:

Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.

Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.

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