New Autograph Forgery Style Discovered

By: Brian G. Kathenes, ISA CAPP - Your Autograph Detective

Beware of White House photographs signed by Presidents and First Ladies.  A new forgery style is on the market.  As you know, there are thousands of pre-printed photographs issued from the White House.  Most are "signed" in the large lower white margin. 

These photographs are pre-printed with facsimile signatures of the President and/or First Lady.  With close inspection, the pre-printed signature is obvious.  But forgers have been adding a little twist to make authentication a bit more difficult. 

The scam is the addition of a felt-tip dot or mark at the end of the signature.  The forger then gently smears the dot.  This makes the entire signature look as if it is signed with a felt-tip pen.  Naturally, unsuspecting collectors might think the signature is real. 

Since most facsimile signatures were not generated from an original autopen pattern, it will not match.  If you are not focusing on the rules of identification, you might be fooled.

The first rule of authentication is:  “Assume it is NOT genuine, until you can prove otherwise.”  Closer inspection will reveal the difference in ink quality, intensity and even color.  Remember, sometimes the excitement of ‘the find’ can cloud your judgment. 

If you have a question on authentication or identification of autographs, send me an email or call.  That’s what we do best here at National Appraisal Consultants.