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  R&R Enterprises August 2008 auction

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Author Topic:   R&R Enterprises August 2008 auction
Michael
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posted 07-29-2008 10:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael   Click Here to Email Michael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How does these two items look? Just asking. I don't know!

mjanovec
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posted 07-29-2008 11:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm guessing they are likely authentic, just a bit atypical. The WSS photo looks like an early-to-mid 90s example.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 07-30-2008 03:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Mark. The "virtual" catalogue is due online today and will allow for a closer look.

Paul

cddfspace
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posted 07-30-2008 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cddfspace   Click Here to Email cddfspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Take a look at this R&R auction item #383.

Program booklet from the Southwest Missouri Teachers’ Association... the caption says "Colonel Neil Armstrong"

When was Neil Armstrong (a Navy Veteran) ever a Colonel?

CDDFSPACE

DChudwin
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posted 07-30-2008 09:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't like the "A" in the WSS signature. If it is genuine, it is quite atypical. Buyer beware, especially at those bid prices.

Spacepsycho
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posted 07-31-2008 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Too bad Scott Cornish is no longer working with them, because when he was authenticating all of their space autographs, there was no doubt as to the authenticity of any item on RR.

Personally I would be careful because at best, they look like atypical autographs, if they're authentic. Unfortunately RR hasn't found anyone with Scott's expertise to replace him.

Ray

Ken Havekotte
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posted 07-31-2008 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ray--Just for the record, R&R has asked a couple other space autograph authenticators for their help and assistance with examining astronaut and other space material for their monthly auctions. They were turned down by one in 2004 while another took on the job, but later left. I think Scott joined them in 2005 and there are no plans for the others to rejoin R&R.

Even if they were asked, "no" would be the answer.

Spacepsycho
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posted 07-31-2008 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Ken,

Thanks for the posting.

I know that other experts, like you, were asked to authenticate, but that none accepted the position, until Scott took the job at RR.

Let's face it, there are only a few people as experienced in the field as you are and nobody is offering a 3rd party authentication service, that is seriously respected.

That being said, people like you, Scott, Tahir, Robert, Bob M., Gerry, Kim, Jimmy Brown, Donnis and a couple of others are the experts. The rest of us have to rely on people like you or take a chance that a piece is authentic.

While you and others offer COA's, they're only issued when an item is bought from you (them). Unfortunately the only respected expert who used to issue a 3rd party COA was Scott Cornish.

The major problem is that the vast majority of collectors can be easily fooled by a good forgery, as evidenced by so many fraudulent autographs being sold at the auctions and on Ebay.

When I see you and others having to correct 20-30-40 auction lots from Superior or Aurora, that gives me pause from trusting anyone that sells something, without having been seen by an expert.

When prices are reaching levels they're currently at, this is no longer a "hobby", it's an investment. The only way to protect that investment, is to have a bulletproof COA from someone like Scott Cornish, Kim, Gerry, Bob or you.

Ray

Ken Havekotte
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From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
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posted 07-31-2008 10:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ray--Your comments are appreciated and I can certainly understand--and support--much of what you are saying.

But first, I did accept R&R's invitation to work as their space authenticator in 2004--their first in space material--in which 3rd party COAs were issued by the auction company that I signed off on (so Scott wasn't the first, but that isn't so important).

Secondly, there are truly no "experts" in this kind of work, based on my belief.

There are still many auction companies that offer COAs, and some with 3rd/+ COA parties, that mean very little to me. There are even major well-known auction firms today, still ... that are issuing authenticating COAs with multiple "expert" examiners for known autopen and extremely atypical signatures. One such authenticating service even charges a fee for their ironclad or bulletproof certificates of authenticity. How could this be? Yet it happens all the time.

The best I can do in a situation like this, Ray, is to provide a COA that comes with a life-time guarantee of authenticity based on my examination, no matter of whom the owner is.

I've only had one such instance in nearly 30 years of doing business that involved an expensive autograph piece in which the buyer of it, after having it for a few years, wanted an exchange refund with no questions asked. It was done, simple as that, and with no hard feelings. In fact he's still a collector friend and good client.

Spacepsycho
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posted 08-01-2008 12:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Ken,

I wasn't seriously collecting in 2004, the UACC Burbank show being the first time I had met an astronaut and I didn't know you were the 1st space material authenticator for RR, so my apologies.

That being said, I disagree with you that there are no experts in this field. When someone like you, who has seen thousands of Armstrong autographs, says something is authentic, I can spend my money without fear of buying a forgery. I know if I buy something with your COA, I have no fear in buying something or in years to come, selling the item with 100% assurance that it's an authentic piece.

I always read how the major experts say "oh this is just my opinion" or "this is only my opinion", well to the average collector who hasn't seen thousands of autographs, your opinion makes you the expert. I understand it's also a CYA situation where you need to protect yourself if you've made a mistake. Mistakes happen, but I would take your word, Scott Cornish, Kim, Gerry, Bob M, Robert, Jimmy Brown's word over the likes of any other 3rd party "expert".

When I see Scott Cornish spending many hours & days researching and comparing hundreds of Armstrong autographs, then catching extremely well done forgeries submitted for auction, that were previously sold at authentic, he's an expert. I've seen Armstrong autographs that I would have bet my sons life were a forgery, only to have Scott tell me that it was a beautiful example of an authentic autograph.

I know of 6-8 Armstrong and Apollo 11 crew signed pieces that came with Florian Noller COA's that were extremely well done forgeries. To Florians credit, he refunded the buyers money, but still, the level of expertise in ID'ing these beautiful forgeries, rests with a few people like you.

I hate to jump on the PSA bashing bandwagon, but if they're the cutting edge of a 3rd party authenticator, I think anyone would be foolish to buy anything with their COA. IMHO, I think all of the auction houses should be running their material through a 3rd party expert, because all it does is increase their bottom line and increases their customer confidence in what's being sold. Just look at the decrease in sales RR has suffered since Scott was fired by them.

I'm in shock everytime I read your post detailing all of the AP's, preprints, secretary and forged autographs that are in the various auction catalogs. To their credit, most of the auction houses remove the items that are not authentic, but if it wasn't for the "experts" pointing out the bad pieces, there would be plenty of buyers wasting their money, but for you protecting them. Are you sure you don't have a big S on your chest ???

As prices start to reach levels thought impossible only a few years ago, experts like you, Scott, Kim, Gerry, Bob M and others will take a central role in protecting the average collector. Let's also not forget that in order to develop and protect the next generation of collectors, you and the others will be the only ones able to help them ID what is and what is not authentic. Like the astronauts themselves, your knowledge and expertise goes with you.

Ray

gliderpilotuk
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posted 08-01-2008 04:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Ken. What IS an "expert"? Sure there ARE people like Ken who have many more years of viewing a wider sample of signatures, but I'm sure he and Scott would admit that they cannot offer definitive
opinions 100% of the time.

Just as important (but maybe impractical) would be for R&R to include some words of provenance where possible and, as a consignor myself, I would have no problem if they disclosed that I was a consignor of a specific item (not that it would necessarily add much weight!).

An "opinion" may provide general indicative guidance on the more obvious fakes, but one man's "atypical" (with its cS-derived negative undertones) may be another's "variation."

Paul Bramley

Spacepsycho
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posted 08-01-2008 05:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacepsycho   Click Here to Email Spacepsycho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Paul,

I think we can all agree that Ken would qualify as an expert in the field, as would others that I've mentioned before. I also agree that most of us would not mind if we were ID'd as the consignor of an item we sent to auction.

However, I'm not worried about those who deal on the up & up, I'm worried about those who happily prey upon the average collector from the shadows. I know for a fact there are items being sent in for auction that are forgeries. It seems that a few auction houses don't screen their material very well, which doesn't instill a lot of confidence in the average buyer.

Hence the need for someone like Ken, Scott, et al, who can guide the average collector through the minefield of forgeries, that is growing with the increase of prices.

My only point is that there is a lot of motivation for the scumbags to get real good at forging rare autographs and there is a real need for an "expert" to point them out. I believe that if things keep going the way they are, the bad guys will get better at ripping off the average collector and they won't know they've been scammed until they try to sell their piece.

Randal
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posted 08-05-2008 07:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randal   Click Here to Email Randal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have a problem with lot 379 in this month's catalog?

BTW, Bob Eaton sent my purchase to Scott a couple of days ago and he said he had a problem with it. Bob than offered to have FedEx pick the item up and give me money back/store credit.

Bob also informed me that Scott will be back with R&R for September's catalog.

mjanovec
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posted 08-05-2008 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Randal:
Bob also informed me that Scott will be back with R&R for September's catalog.

That can only be good news for R&R...and good for the hobby in general (even if he doesn't return to CS). It's also good that they are letting Scott review questioned lots purchased during his hiatus.

DOX32
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posted 08-05-2008 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DOX32   Click Here to Email DOX32     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having Scott back would increase my interest in again bidding on R & R.

Also, the policy to accept a return with Scott's advice and refund is an outstanding buisness practice!

I may list some of my good items with them this fall after he comes on board again!

By the way, he and Bob McLeod have provided me outstanding advice on signed covers.

That is why this is the Best web site in Space!!!

Woody

DSeuss5490
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posted 08-26-2008 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DSeuss5490   Click Here to Email DSeuss5490     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have emailed R&R several times the past week about consignments and have not gotten a reply. Of course I could call, but that would be too difficult. Are they closed for a vacation? Dean

DSeuss5490
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posted 08-26-2008 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DSeuss5490   Click Here to Email DSeuss5490     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
R&R has called me. Thank you.

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