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  Neil Armstrong autograph study (SpaceLOA.com)

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Author Topic:   Neil Armstrong autograph study (SpaceLOA.com)
Steve Zarelli
Member

Posts: 395
From: Upstate New York, USA
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 10-13-2013 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Zarelli   Click Here to Email Steve Zarelli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I invite you to check out my Neil Armstrong Autograph study on SpaceLOA.com.

Hopefully this will complement the excellent collectSPACE exemplar study done a few years back. My Armstrong study adds some secretarial examples as well as an overview of some forgery styles from over the years... some quite recent from active forgers.

Stay tuned because I plan on adding additional studies including Gus Grissom, Ed White and maybe more.

As always, your feedback is welcome and appreciated.

Jurg Bolli
Member

Posts: 549
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 10-13-2013 10:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great resource, thanks.

gliderpilotuk
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Posts: 3127
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 10-14-2013 03:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve - a worthy project and a couple of observations, if I may.

The original Armstrong study sourced examples out of people's collections and therefore assembled a wide range of styles over a wide time range, including some "non-standard" examples. I think it would be useful to throw some of these into the mix.

On the same note I'd raise Anders up the priority list. Probably the hardest one to assess with 100% surety and therefore often knocked back by auction houses due to the lack of material referencing his idiosyncratic styles. If this were true there must be more half-decent Anders forgeries out there than half-decent Armstrong forgeries!

Happy to help out with examples etc.

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2675
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 10-14-2013 09:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice resource Steve.

I was interested to see the active UK-based forgery examples. They're pretty good, although at least the examples you show have a fairly clear tell.

Can you tell us if the seller is active on eBay or were these items submitted to RR?

Steve Zarelli
Member

Posts: 395
From: Upstate New York, USA
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 10-14-2013 09:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Zarelli   Click Here to Email Steve Zarelli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A UK-based eBay seller has had a number of these. I first noticed them in the summer of 2012. I have seen examples elsewhere and they were also sourced to the UK. Whoever is doing these is smart enough to parse them out slowly and not flood.

There seems to be a decent amount of variation in his signatures... some stronger than others. They are not cookie cutter fakes, but they have some common traits that lead me to believe they are coming from the same forger.

I have seen this style on index cards, photos, currency and postcards.

Steve Zarelli
Member

Posts: 395
From: Upstate New York, USA
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 10-14-2013 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Zarelli   Click Here to Email Steve Zarelli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gliderpilotuk:
I think it would be useful to throw some of these into the mix.
Thanks for the suggestions, Paul.

I debated using some atypical, but real exemplars for the study. In my view, the target audience is beginning to intermediate collectors. My concern is that providing atypical examples to untrained eyes will only muddy the water and open the door for the misinterpretation that some fakes "could be real." But it is a valid point and I will think about it.

quote:
On the same note I'd raise Anders up the priority list.
Bear in mind while Armstrong was signing dozens if not hundreds a day, Anders was often signing zero. It's certainly plausible that authentic Armstrong autographs could outnumber authentic Anders 100 to 1. In my experience, the Anders failure ratio is higher than Armstrong. In my opinion, Anders is a tempting target because his signature is relatively simple, not as closely scrutinized, and a smart forger knows he has a lot of wiggle room because Anders was such an inconsistent signer. So in effect, there are more "half decent" Anders fakes than Armstrong. Just my opinion of course.

Due to Anders' prickly signing habits, it may be harder to determine that a signature may be 100% certainly bad (even if you are pretty sure). While a bad Armstrong or Grissom may be more definitive and the item is taken out of circulation… a "likely bad" Anders is held on to because "it might be good."

Bob M
Member

Posts: 1393
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-19-2013 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve, you've created a very well-done study and presentation of Neil Armstrong's many autograph styles through the years, that should serve to inform and educate collectors of what to look for, and avoid, concerning Armstrong's autograph. This is an interesting and useful update and supplement to the 'Neil Armstrong Autograph Examplars Study' presented some years ago.

We will be looking forward to the Gus Grissom and Ed White autograph studies you may provide later and, as suggested, a possible, and needed, Bill Anders study. Also a Yuri Gagarin autograph study is much overdue and would be beneficial to the space autograph hobby.

Surely Neil Armstrong and Yuri Gagarin are the two most famous of all the 500+ space travelers, and also their autographs are surely the most forged. Many may consider it an accurate statement that very possibly more Armstrong and Gagarin forgeries reside in collections than authentic examples.

Steve Zarelli
Member

Posts: 395
From: Upstate New York, USA
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 10-20-2013 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Zarelli   Click Here to Email Steve Zarelli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your comments, Bob.

In my experience, Gagarin is the undisputed king of fakes. While there may be a higher volume of Armstrong fakes, the fake to real ratio for Gagarin is definitely higher. I don't think 75%/25% is far off.

As many know, a prolific Russian forger has been manufacturing mass-produced Gagarin fakes for some time now. Not a month passes where I do not reject multiples of this fake style. I believe this forger alone has watered down the market and suppressed the value of real exemplars.

So, in my experience, the most risky would be:

  1. Gagarin
  2. Armstrong
  3. Grissom
  4. tough call between Anders and White

benfairfax
Member

Posts: 187
From: Australia
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 10-20-2013 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benfairfax   Click Here to Email benfairfax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve, I have an uninscribed Ed White silver spacesuit litho I could send for you to check out. Win-win. Let me know.

Steve Zarelli
Member

Posts: 395
From: Upstate New York, USA
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 10-20-2013 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Zarelli   Click Here to Email Steve Zarelli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sure... send me an email.

benfairfax
Member

Posts: 187
From: Australia
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 10-20-2013 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benfairfax   Click Here to Email benfairfax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Done. Let me know if you need anything else. I have everything scanned from signed, autopen WSS and crew of most Apollo era. I have the Apollo 1 crew autopen if that helps you at all.

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