THE WORK OF AN AUTOGRAPH EXAMINER
On this Page we will help you understand some basics about the work of an autograph examiner.
Signing is a free-form activity, and as such it is a well known fact that a person will never sign exactly the same way twice.
A good examiner is also aware of the changing habits most signers have. This is why experts have a considerable amount of original examples and a good library of reference material to do a comparative analysis when examining an autograph.
An examiner who considers himself thorough will always give you an honest opinion based on study and experience.
Authenticating a contemporary celebrity autograph is no easy task and for the most part it will, on many occasions, remain an "expert opinion". Experts must know how signers change and when they change. Even then, signatures are different all the time.
Take James Hetfield of Metallica as an example. If you have an autographed album of Metallica signed by Hetfield in the year 2000, your autograph may look more or less like the one shown in this photograph. Four capital letters reading something like J A M Z
standing for James.
James Hetfield of Metallica (old signature)
Now, if you decide to purchase a more currently autographed item today, you will most likely find the autograph is going to look more like the signature on the guitar.
You might think: either your album carries a fake autograph, or the item you intend to buy today is the one that is fake.
The real fact is that both autographs are authentic.
This is an important factor you must take into account; autographs change over time, and you must have a keen eye as a collector.
James Hetfield of Metallica (2006 signature)
Every celebrity shows natural variations depending on their mood and physical state and it is helpful to understand the circumstances behind a signing event. Was the autograph obtained at a Magazine Celebrity Party?, a Benefit?, or a Movie Premiere?
A number of factors must be considered. Let's take for instance someone we all love so much, Al Pacino. He is a great signer and will serve as a good example. When Al Pacino is standing or calmly sitting at a press event, you will most likely get a beautiful autograph looking more or less like the photo on the right.
However, if you catch Al Pacino in person, while running down the aisle at, let's say the 'Rome Film Festival' or you catch him while replying to the press and fans, you will most likely get a fast and crazy autograph looking more or less like the photo on the left.
Thru-the-mail Collectors of contemporary autographs face a hard task today. Today's top stars receive tons of fan mail and autograph requests. Since actors today are no longer tied to a single studio, studio-employed secretaries who do the signing are becoming more rare. Virtually, the only way to get your photo or poster signed is in person. This is when an in-person autograph dealer may come in handy. In-person dealers work with assistants who aid in getting the autographs. These assistants, autograph hunters, can also find out locations in the city where several celebrities will be appearing in different places at the same time.
Autograph hunters often develop an elaborate series of contacts who feed them information about the comings and goings of celebrities, ..what talk shows they will be appearing on, what hotels they are staying at, even what flights they may be arriving on.
In-person collecting requires a lot of travelling, waiting, resources ..., and dealers getting the job done may charge a little bit more than what you expected to spend on a specific autograph. Here is another idea to help you grow your memorabilia. The past decade bore witness to the new phenomenon of auction houses on the internet. This is another fun way of getting in-person memorabilia and maybe, be able to save a few bucks.
Whichever way suits you better, knowledge, caution, and common sense are the most essential tools you, as an autograph enthusiast can rely on.
If you need an expert evaluation for an autograph you have, feel free to contact us at: email@example.com
You can also send us an email if you need a free appraisal. Our appraisal services are based on the current market value. We will give you an estimated value to help you determine how much you can expect for your memorabilia. Please, be advised that we will not be able to take the CONDITION of an item into account, which is a significant factor when determining the final value of your piece.