Disclaimer about this database
This database will be devoted to Signature House and Profiles in History Signatures... these are NOT "official" meaning that the celebrities have not endorsed these. However, these auction houses have auctions of very important documents, photos and other things which carry signatures from historic people and other Hollywood celebrities. The auctions are expensive, bring thousands of dollars per item and my research on a handful of the signatures (random) have shown them to look good to my eye. I am not an expert however, and it's not sure who is authenticating their items but them signatures can be an invaluable source of what appears to be authentic material to compare against signatures you may want to purchase. For that reason, I am putting them on this site, but remind folks that even experts may be fallible. There is no way to be 100% sure that every signature contains herein is "authentic". I am fairly confident in what I see and these companies are frequented by collectors with discerning eyes. I have not seen complaint of either of these companies as far as forgeries go. Therefore, I put online for the public, a database of signatures that have come up for auction, to use as a guide to help YOU, the collector in judging what an authentic signature may look like.
information which should be used before buying an expensive graph:
I recommend that you use this database, combined with other tools like my other database as well as people who may have gotten "in person" signatures to show you their finds... and use ALL the signatures together to get yourself familiar with the signatures you are seeking. The only way to learn is to study the directions, the lean, the stops/starts, the boldness/thinness, the heights and overall characteristics. You simply must put the varying signatures side by side with what you are contemplating buying or trading, and feel comfortable with your purchase. If you instinctually have a bad feeling, I suggest not buying or bidding on it. Instincts are usually right.
A rule of thumb I personally use when buying what might be an expensive signature, is that I first research what the signature sells for and decide if I can afford to lose money should the signature turn out to be wrong. I take the top value I am willing to go and set my price there. If the signature sells for a thousand dollars and a seller lists it at 500 and that's my top price, I will only bid the minimum and no more. If at that time in my life I cannot afford even the minimum, I do not bid. Remember, a signature or hobby is nice, but your life and family are more important! Retirement, college and health first. You second. DO NOT get caught up in a bidding war. To do so might mean you are paying more than you intended. If you pay more and want to potentially resell one day, you will mostly likely not get your money back. So bid what fair market value is, but only up to the point where you "can afford" to lose the money should the item be deemed as a forgery. If you are buying an EXTREMELY expensive signature, you should only buy items with a very good provenance, with some sort of proof, or from a major company who will return your money to you should you prove you have a questionable item. It would be best if you have all three!
Be very careful that the wording on the company's "refund policy" does not say, "we we refund if you PROVE you have a forgery". The reason is that nobody can PROVE anything. What happens is they will want you to prove the forgery by turning to a third party authenticator. However, the company selling will most likely not recognize those people as experts and will not refund your purchase price. It will be very costly, to use the authenticators they suggest, and most likely, the ones they suggest will be in their pocket... there's no way to tell for you. So it's recommended you find a dealer you will buy from that will have a no questions asked refund policy. Be sure however, to do your research BEFORE you buy and when you get the item in hand, do you authentication very quickly as most refund policies will have an expiration date. Expiration dates could be weeks, months, a year or indefinitely (or as long as they are in business). Most do not have indefinite policies and even if they do, they could move, change their phone numbers and disappear, leaving you with no recourse. So it's best for you to determine as soon as possible if you are sure about your purchase.
Lastly, keep all your receipts and bits of information you've gathered about the item together and pass onto the next person who gets the item from you (in this life or after). They'll add their information to the item and do the same. To someone many years in the future, this will be the best thing you could do for them. Proof comes in the form of emails (questions you ask the dealer), Ebay or other online price sheets, auction catalogs, Google searches of other items of similar comparisons to show value or authentication, as well as the receipt or Certificate of Authenticity supplied with the item.
Okay, with the disclaimer that this database is not foolproof, but is in my opinion a great resource I am comfortable in accessing myself to research items I will potentially bid on... so use it but use it wisely... now ENTER