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  130804846587: "Shephard" signed letter

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Author Topic:   130804846587: "Shephard" signed letter
george9785
Member

Posts: 196
From: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 11-28-2012 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for george9785   Click Here to Email george9785     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't really need any help with this item but I wanted to post here for the benefit of the eBay seller and the buyer.

I was considering bidding on the item had it been authentic but, even with the poor resolution of the posted photo, it appeared to be a secretarial. The letter's subject matter also lent support that it might more likely have been autopenned or signed by a secretary. In any case, prior to the end of the auction, I advised the seller that I believed that the signature was a secretarial and I would probably be able to tell her more certainly if she sent me a better photo. She did so and I subsequently let her know that it was a secretarial and provided a little more elaboration. I therefore didn't bid on the item but suggested she probably ought to let the winning bidder know.

Today she sent me a bit of a nasty message telling me that the buyer had it authenticated and she told me what she thought of my "erroneous opinion". I replied to her that I was more or less certain of my assessment and that authenticators make mistakes. I told her I could probably satisfy her that it was a secretarial if she were truly interested and if she'd let me know that she wanted this but she hasn't replied. I also decided to write the buyer to suggest how he could get more experienced opinions and more or less a consensus on authenticity but I haven't yet heard back from him. I also don't know who provided the authentication but it was most likely a quick opinion type.

Rather than wait to hear back from either, I decided I'd post here and refer them to the thread. Here's the cleaner photo of the signature that the seller had sent me just prior to the end of the auction:

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2735
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-29-2012 01:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's a clear secretarial signature.

Most of the commercial authentication services are sports experts - they haven't a clue when it comes to astronaut signatures, although they're happy to take an authentication fee and given an opinion.

fredtrav
Member

Posts: 1123
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 11-29-2012 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I noticed she does not say which authentication service "authenticated" it. Considering it was just sold on Nov. 24th, I doubt the buyer would have received it yet and if he did, he certainly did not have time to send it to an authenticator.

I also think most people recognized it for the secretarial signature it is as it sold for very little.

PeterO
Member

Posts: 244
From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 11-29-2012 10:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by george9785:
I also decided to write the buyer to suggest how he could get more experienced opinions and more or less a consensus on authenticity but I haven't yet heard back from him.
I'm curious - how did you contact the buyer? Did the seller give you the contact information? Only the seller can see the IDs of their items' bidders and buyer. Everyone else sees a placeholder ID that cannot be contacted.

george9785
Member

Posts: 196
From: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 11-29-2012 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for george9785   Click Here to Email george9785     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Both the buyer and the seller of the item had already left their feedback. The buyer has since contacted me as well. The indication he's given me is that there was no authentication, despite what the seller told me. He does already have the letter and he told me he self-assessed based on exemplars within his own collection. He stated he was convinced by these comparisons that it was authentic. He appears to lack experience. I've referred him now to this thread.

Bob M
Member

Posts: 1420
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-29-2012 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a well-known secretarial forgery style and with it selling for only $23.53 is a clear indication that more experienced collectors saw that it wasn't authentic and didn't bid. An actual authentic Shepard signed NASA letter would normally sell for several hundred dollars.

george9785
Member

Posts: 196
From: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 11-29-2012 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for george9785   Click Here to Email george9785     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fredtrav:
I also think most people recognized it for the secretarial signature it is as it sold for very little.

quote:
Originally posted by Bob M:
... and with it selling for only $23.53 is a clear indication that more experienced collectors saw that it wasn't authentic and didn't bid.

In this particular case, it's very likely that the lot would have sold very low even if the signature was authentic because the photo of the letter was wanting and, in particular, because the listing's title was way too broad. It would have slipped by most collectors' attention.

george9785
Member

Posts: 196
From: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Registered: Nov 2010

posted 12-01-2012 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for george9785   Click Here to Email george9785     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Neither the seller nor the buyer contacted me again on this but I'm sure they would have read this thread.

Thanks to all who helped out by providing their input.

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