Throughout history famous people have been asked by their fans for autographs.
A signature has become a quick, easy and personal item to give to a fan. Treasured by the receiver the autograph represents a tiny piece of history frozen in and time and proof of a chance meeting or request.
However, over the years and for major celebrities demand has outstripped supply creating a market for selling these autographs. More celebrities have been created by the media and the appetite of the public to access modern celebrity culture has become insatiable. Famous people with time constraints and scrutiny have understandably become less accessible to the general public.
For all these reasons other methods over the years have been used to reproduce their signatures. Printed / Stamped / Autopen and Secretarial autographs have become common and are often good enough to fool all but the well trained eye.
The famous have also become very aware of market values of their signature. There is a growing reluctance to sign for all other than their genuine fans knowing their autographs are sold on the internet. This has led to more personalized autographs only on official merchandise. In time this will almost certainly lead to PR companies and agents selling their autographs from their own stars websites, this will assist in clearing up the market.
Always a problem but much more seriously in recent years the most serious enemy of the genuine autograph collector has emerged; the forger! This has become with the huge increases in values recently a lucrative past-time; however most are very poor and easy to recognize. Forgeries on the internet and in eBay type auctions are now an epidemic and probably account for 75% of the entire market.
Huge numbers of bogus dealers who have become “experts overnight” have surfaced offering Certificates of Authenticity with lifetime guarantees. Well produced texts and websites ready to snare an ill informed public into parting with their money. We can only assume that many of the public “do not care” as most are such obvious forgeries. Many buy on price and assume an item to be correct as it has a Certificate of Authenticity with it. Unfortunately that public will not find out about their purchase until they try and sell it. That bargain 10 x 8 signed photo of Marlon Brando bought for £25 with a lifetime COA from “Special Premier Star Signings of London ” will be worthless. And when they contact “Special Premier Star Signings in London ” at PO Box? They will have mysteriously ceased trading!
These lines are an initiation into understanding autographs. For a comprehensive idea of what to look for/where to go/how to buy genuine autography click onto our eBay and forgery warnings area of the website. There is also a section of advice on how to use eBay.
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