Princess Diana

* Ask searching questions of the seller.

 

 

* Ask if there is any known provenance and history. If it is a recently signed item from an in-person collector ask if he can include any actual signing dates / locations or photographic evidence.

 

* Look for obvious spelling mistakes or dates that do not correspond. If it is a signed record sleeve check the release date as it might be a reissue. 

 

* The age of a photograph; does the photograph look like it has been recently printed and then “amazingly signed” by somebody who died 30 years previously! 

 

* The type of pen used. Consider that felt pens were not commonly used until the 1980s. That sharpie type marker pens did not really exist before the 1980s. That Silver and Gold paint pens were uncommon before the 1990’s. So if you are viewing original 1960-70s LP record sleeves by for example; Led Zeppelin / Pink Floyd / Bob Dylan / The Beatles / Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones signed in silver paint pens they will be fake.

 

* Sizes, dates and positions of autographs on pages / photos and then compare with known authentic examples.

 

* The idiosyncrasies and style of a signers autograph (over decades if necessary) and then compare with known authentic examples. 

 

* Fully research any provenance. Information available on the internet nowadays can make this much easier than years ago. 

 

* Dedications & additional words: these are often good indicators for authenticity as a forger would rarely risk attempting to do this, although your autograph could still be secretarial. Be aware that dedications may reduce the value of a piece by over 30%.

 

* Lookout for prints, especially on vintage Hollywood photographs. Check for an imprint from a pen onto paper.

 

* Lookout for rubber-stamped signatures which generally display ink shading around the character. 

 

* Lookout for Autopens. Autopens produce squiggles rather than straight lines and are often of a uniform thickness. Look for a dot at the initial point of contact onto the page or photograph. 

 

* Look for absorption of ink into paper. Real ink has a sheen. 

 

* Remember do not display autographs where there is direct sunlight as they will in time fade. 

 

* Remember to store autographs long term in acid free sleeves.

 

* Frame autographs with low UV glass and always use acid free mounting products.