Ernest Shackleton

The wonderful world of autograph buying and selling is fraught with dangers for the public and professional alike. 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 far outstripped supply creating a market for selling autographs. Celebrities (for whatever reason) continue to be created everyday by the media and the appetite of the public to access modern celebrity culture continues to grow. Famous people under time constraints and facing insatiable scrutiny are becoming understandably less accessible to the general public. In order to satisfy these demands and the collectors market other ways have been developed over the years to reproduce celebrity signatures. Buyers beware that Printed / Stamped / Autopen and Secretarial autographs have become common and are often of good enough quality to fool all but the better trained eye. 


Current celebrities have become aware of the market values of their autograph and this has resulted in a growing reluctance to sign for all but genuine fans. They know and are rightfully frustrated by people standing outside stage-doors demanding “selfies” and clutching packs of photographs to sign that are likely to appear on Ebay the following day. This is not the same principle as for the genuine fan autograph hunters with their autograph books of the 1950-60s. In time this will only fuel further demand and almost certainly lead to PR companies and agents joining in and selling autographs from their own stars websites. 


Always a problem, but much more seriously over recent years, the most serious enemy of the genuine autograph collector has emerged; the forger! With the huge increases in values this can be a lucrative past-time, however most forgeries found especially on the internet auction sites are extremely poor and easy to recognize. Forgeries are an epidemic and experts agree nowadays probably account for over 80% of the entire market. 


Buyers must be vigilant, do their research and not be frightened to ask searching questions.


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