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Author Topic:   More Soyuz 11 signatures 4 sale
Bob M
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posted 10-31-2003 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since the original Soyuz 11 thread has degenerated into a debate about the pros & cons of dealers' no return policies, I decided to start a fresh Soyuz 11 thread, especially since there have been new developments.

Now Aurora Auctions has gotten into the Soyuz 11 signature distribution act. Two more Soyuz 11 crew signed items have appeared and have made their debut in the latest Aurora auction. By my count, Soyuz 11 crew signed items have now been offered by at least 7 different sellers after making their debut in a 1999 Superior auction & selling in excess of $5,000. They have now been offered by two distinguished auction houses (Superior & Aurora); on eBay by Maksuta & another Russian dealer; by historicspace and Astro-auction; and Alexander's Autographs.

What is noteworthy about this latest Soyuz 11 offering by Aurora isn't their offering of yet another signed "Baikonur Monument to Space" postcard (ho-hum), lot 1589, but rather, their other Soyuz 11 offering. It's lot 1588, which is a very close cousin to the one offered for $4,000 on historicspace. Like historicspace's, it's also a B&W signed photo of the crew in their training simulator. But its estimated value is only $1,000-1,500, so it's a much better deal - financially at least.

The proliferation of and the opportunity to acquire the world's rarest space autographs, those of Dobrovolsky and Patsayev, is increasing. This, of course, is exactly opposite of what would be expected, since the Soyuz 11 crew is believed to have signed few, if any, collector-type items (photos, postcards, covers) prior to the flight they didn't come back alive from. But, never mind all that, as their autographs continue to spread and even are now offered on prestige sites.

Bob McLeod

chet
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From: Beverly Hills, Calif.
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posted 10-31-2003 02:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe people can start collecting reasonably signed facsimiles of Soyuz 11 stuff.

It's fairly obvious SOMEONE (maybe everyone!) is selling something that ain't real....might as well try to purchase something that's as close to the real McCoy as possible.

(This IS tongue in cheek).

(Hey, this my 500th post!!....do I win something?)

-chet

[This message has been edited by chet (edited October 31, 2003).]

gliderpilotuk
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posted 11-01-2003 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[QUOTE]Originally posted by chet:
(Hey, this my 500th post!!....do I win something?) -chet

Chet, that's a dangerous question to ask!!
Congrats anyway!
PAUL

Bob M
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posted 11-01-2003 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some say that there must be some authentic Soyuz 11 crew signed items in existence. They say that surely the Soyuz 11 crew must have signed some collector-type items before their doomed flight. If they are right, then which Soyuz 11 signed items are genuine and, most importantly, how to tell which ones are?

There is a relatively large & varied pool of Soyuz 11 signed items to choose from: various signed photos of the crew (at least three different types), postcards & covers. Because of their relative abundance, those who desire something signed by the Soyuz 11 crew have many options. Just at this time two are in the current Aurora catalog; eBay seller "maksuta" is offering one now on eBay; and historicspace is offering one that came from "maksuta."

I just contacted "maksuta" (Maxim Martynov) asking about his Soyuz 11 on eBay and in his response he also commented about the one he sold to historicspace. He told me that the one he now has on eBay came from a Moscow collector who obtained it from a TASS photographer who took training photos and had them sign some. Maksuta/Martynov stated that he "...recently sold about the same photo at $1,000, and now I see it listed on historicspace at $4,000."

Maksuta/Martynov has offered a number of Soyuz 11 crew signed items that I've happened to notice, and it looks like he's probably the best source for these popular Soyuz 11's. But by stating this, I don't mean it as a referral.
To those who say that the Soyuz 11 crew must have signed some items, I ask them to tell us how to separate the "good ones" from all the others that are available? Does anyone believe that all the Soyuz 11 crew signed items are genuine? What are the best sources for genuine Soyuz 11 signed material?

Bob McLeod

albatron@aol.com
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posted 11-02-2003 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron@aol.com   Click Here to Email albatron@aol.com     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob: All I can say is, all these popping up give me a headache. To roll the dice on which ones MAY or may NOT be real, is just way too much of a gamble for me. At $1000 much less $4000.

Man - theyre popping up everywhere.

Al

spaceflori
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From: Germany
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posted 11-02-2003 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Bob,

concerning the authenticity of the Soyus 11 autographs : While it will be probably impossible to verify the background and authenticity of the signatures themselves I think Joe Davies made a good approach in his description by looking at the "age" of the ink which is something you can hardly fake.
Remember most of us here never had a Soyus 11 item in our hands so that's something we can't judge from a scan. As Joe very well said in those days there was no memorabilia market and why should someone fake Soyus 11 autographs if they couldn't sell it at that time...?
I have only handled a crewsigned cover once and this was a similar case - the ink was definetely a couple of years old, not something recently signed and the background was 100% verified, it came from another cosmonaut directly, he gave it away as a gift to my consignor, there was no money involved until the final sale. I think Joe also made a good point here when he says that while cosmonauts "refused" to sign before their first flight they may have very well signed items for non collectors at that time !

Again, this is my own speculation but I think the odds are not bad that there is some good Soyus 11 stuff out there....
my 2 cents.

Florian

xxcygni
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posted 11-02-2003 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xxcygni   Click Here to Email xxcygni     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm a bit cautious about joining this discussion about Soyuz 11 signatures since I know little about the cosmonaut area. However, I will jump in anyway. I may get my head handed to me but I guess that is life.

First of all, I'm very suspicious whenever there is a good supply of something that is ultrarare. Granted, these guys probably did sign for a FEW. However, why would those few all be running around the market at the same time? How many people have a complete Soyuz 11 in their collection?

Next, not all forgery is done for profit. It may well have been due to some official source within the USSR. It could be a way to inspire future generations, honor fallen heros, inspire those still working, ... I don't believe in the case of material from the former USSR that selling items at auction or a yet to be invented eBay was the only reason to create those items. Again, I'm no cosmonaut expert but it is my understanding that there are thousands of fake Gagarin autographs. It is my understanding that these were created while he was alive as well as even more just after he died and that they are probably still done to some extent to this day. Motive can be something that changes with time. A forged item can well be done for one reason and ultimately end up in another market.

Finally, old ink and vintage photographs do not impress me in the least. As speculated above, there could well be fakes from the period. However, one of the most notorious forgers of all time worked a few miles from my home. This is Mark Hoffman. His paper and materials were vintage. He made and "aged" his own ink. He was sloppy in many cases but he still fooled many forensic document investigators, experts, and a couple of major auction houses that sold his wares for hundreds of thousands of dollars. This was a self-taught forger working in his basement!

Thus, I'm not stating an opinion one way or the other because I just don't know enough. However, I'm suspicious and the evidence in favor does little to inspire my confidence if I were in the market for one of these items.

- Mike Joner

cosmos-walter
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Posts: 417
From: Salzburg, Austria
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posted 11-02-2003 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmos-walter   Click Here to Email cosmos-walter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi folks,

Currently I found 6 Soyuz 11 crew signed items on eBay. This number includes Aurora.
I doubt any of them being genuine.

There are items with genuine signatures of Dobrovolski, Volkov, and Patsayev shown in the Museum at Star City. All of them have been published and are well known - at least to the falsifiers.

I remember a Soyuz 11 signed item, which was offered recently at one Superior or Aurora auction. The story given was, this item came from the son of a cosmonaut. I telephoned with the son as well as the cosmonaut. Both denied the signatures being genuine. The cosmonaut explained, that Dobrovolski and Patsayev did not sign before launch.
When I communicated this, I was told, that this item was given to the consignor by the cosmonaut's son as part of many signed pictures. Thus, neither the cosmonaut nor his son realized, signatures of their ill-fated fellow cosmonauts ever existed.
Does anybody of you really believe this story?

If you actually want to buy a set "Soyuz 11 signatures", offer a Moscow friend 100 US$ for buying a signed item at a Russian philatelic flee market. He would get you this item and you would sleep well being positively sure, you aquired a fake for a relatively cheap price. ;-)

Take care,
Walter

xxcygni
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posted 11-02-2003 11:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xxcygni   Click Here to Email xxcygni     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cosmos-walter:
Hi folks,

If you actually want to buy a set "Soyuz 11 signatures", offer a Moscow friend 100 US$ for buying a signed item at a Russian philatelic flee market. He would get you this item and you would sleep well being positively sure, you aquired a fake for a relatively cheap price. ;-)

Take care,
Walter



Walter -

I think you hit the bullseye with this post. Maybe there are a couple Soyuz 11 items out there but I seriously doubt that six at once are all good. Since all have a similar background and provenance, your flea market idea is probably as good as any. It would sure be a quick way for the unscrupulous to turn a quick profit. Thanks for the information. It is essential to keeping the hobby going.

- Mike Joner

spaceflori
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posted 11-03-2003 12:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mike and Walter,

you bring up some good points, but they are speculations just as mine are - no better or worse. I'm not defending those items currently up for sale but just a large quantity up for sale doesn't mean they are definetely wrong.

Mike : sure, aging ink can be done today without problems, but it's hard for me to believe that this is the case with Soyus 11.

Walter : We both know that once the cosmonauts made a deal they easily "forget" about their deal immediately. Whether this is for selfprotection I don't know, but there has been a couple of times this "behaviour" has been recorded by collectors here. Remember when Juergen Esders asked Dezhurov about a couple of autographs he got from him and he claimed them to be fake ?
BTW that Soyus 11 cover was part of a collection from a cosmonaut so he may not remember the individual cover anymore as it was not sold individually - but you can talk to Torsten about this...

Florian

Leon Ford
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posted 11-03-2003 12:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leon Ford   Click Here to Email Leon Ford     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey folks,

I don't know anything about cosmonaut autographs and don't really want to, but in reading these threads lately the only reason I can find that you doubt these autographs of Soyuz 11 is because you understand that the true autographs of the Soyuz 11 crew are rare and there are so many autographed items around right now that they must be fake.

I'm not trying to start a fight, I'm just asking what about these autographs make you so sure they are fake. Do the signatures not look like the signatures of the Soyuz 11 crew? Does the type of ink look wrong to the time the autograph should have been signed? Were the items signed printed after the Soyuz crew were killed?(This would be a pretty good indication that the autograph is fake!)

I'm just trying to understand why these items are fake. Give me a reason other than it is a rare item and there should not be this many on the market now.

Thanks,

Leon

Scott
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 11-03-2003 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Me again. (everyone relapses)

Leon and Florian,

I hear you. Common sense and sound logic - both overrated.

Till next time,
Scott

Bob M
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From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
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posted 11-03-2003 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Leon,

First, Leon, go back through the 80 messages that have already been posted on this subject & from them you should get a better idea why these ubiquitous Soyuz 11 signed items are questioned beyond there just being a bunch of them. I'll get back with you later on all this -

Bob Mc.

xxcygni
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posted 11-03-2003 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xxcygni   Click Here to Email xxcygni     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceflori:

Mike : sure, aging ink can be done today without problems, but it's hard for me to believe that this is the case with Soyus 11.

Florian


Florian - I'm not sure that I see your point with this comment. Why would it be unlikely that a Suyuz 11 item had been produced and then have the ink artifically aged? It is not that it is an expensive or even technically demanding process. I have seen where it can be done with some basic treatments and your household oven. IF someone were going to forge an item that they wanted to sell for big bucks, why not do a fairly good job? Of course, this presumes that an item is not a period piece produced originally for one of the other reasons I discussed. Then the ink and the photo or paper would look old because it was an old forgery.

As for numbers indicating an item is fake; absolutely not! It is just another datum for consideration. It is kind of like if someone came up with 100+ uninscribed Armstrong WSS lithos all at once. Just one of those things that would make ordinary folks pause and consider reality.

I stated in my first post on this thread that I have no basis to critique the cosmonaut signatures. That is why I have only discussed the intangibles that are offered as evidence for authentication by others. I have no first hand knowledge of 'off the record' signings so as far as I'm concerned, there may actually be some items out there that are the real deal. If as Walter stated, one can find pretty good fakes at a philatelic flea market in Moscow, I would be hesitant to go looking for the real thing.

- Mike Joner

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-03-2003 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A primary issue plaguing our ability to identify suspect autographs from the Soyuz 11 rookies is a lack of clearly authentic examples for which to offer comparisons.

Given that western collectors are already at a handicap given the cyrillic lettering, it is not surprising that the only flag that can be raised about these autographs are their quantity.

Is there no one among us who can comment on the signature styles? Perhaps we need to work to find that someone as that may be the only way to finally discredit some of these pieces that we all think are suspect. Are there are no Russian signature experts willing to go on the record or is it that these suspect autographs are so good that discrepancies cannot be found?

Bob M
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From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
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posted 11-03-2003 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would certainly be beneficial for someone knowledgeable & experienced with cosmonaut autographs to come forward. So little is known for sure about the two Soyuz 11 rookies' signatures, that finding someone able to accurately authenticate their signatures would be beneficial. At this time all Soyuz 11 signed items have to be considered suspect at least, based mainly only on their unrealistically large numbers & often questionable provenance - plus no one available that is expert in authenticating them. Obviously some collectors are paying big money for autographs that little is known about.

As Mike mentioned, large numbers of very rare signatures are one possible indicator of forgery and his example of the infamous discovery of over 100 Armstrong signed WSS portraits should have also been seriously questioned by the discoverer. But the source of any questionable autograph should be the #1 concern. If the source is suspect, plus relatively large numbers of very rare autographs are circulating, I would think that it would be a wise collector who would take a step back & consider everything very carefully.

Bob Mc.

cosmos-walter
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posted 11-04-2003 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cosmos-walter   Click Here to Email cosmos-walter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A good issue, Robert.

Is anybody of you a serious Russian signatures expert?
As pointed out in this forum earlier, I do not want to discuss signature styles publically. This would support only the bad boys involved.

Within two weeks I shall travel to Moscow and Star City. Thus I might be able to get additional information.

Happy collecting to everybody,
Walter

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