I have an old family heirloom of sorts that I'd like to get the community's opinion on. The autograph is located on the back of his portrait. Mrs. Perkins was my Grandmother's cousin and was Bela Lugosi's nurse at one point. It was signed in the 1950s. Thank you for your time and any information provided is greatly appreciated!
Thank you very much. I can see the difference. Would your opinion be that the one I have posted is not authentic?
Also, I apologize for the off topic comment, but in the first photo you posted, would that happen to be Richard "Dick" Rodgers, or am I mistaken? Greatly appreciate your time, thanks again!
Thanks for the reply. Richard is such a common name, I hope you didn't mind my asking.
I can't corroborate the story at all, but the Mrs. Nell) Perkins this was addressed to was one of his attending nurses when he was checked into the hospital. He apparently autographed this before he left. It's a fantastic claim and as I said, I have no way to offer proof, but I wondered if the crookedness and errors were due to his condition. Of course, rampant forgeries are always a possibility with such mementos; nevertheless I thank you again for taking the time to talk with me about this at such an unreasonable hour!
The story seems OK, date is generally correct, and the handwriting is interesting and the content believable, but there are a few strange things I am not used to seeing and the signature is oddly neat and legible, with very clean finish and slightly odd but not without precedent trail-off. A few angles and slants seem a bit odd (the "L" for one). The formation of some letters in the written portion seems atypical, as if the signer stopped the European formations here and there. It also might be a bit small - Lugosi was writing larger and larger by then. I compared with a later ball point pen signature as well as fountain examples from the late 1940's and early 1950's. I am a bit wary but very interested in other opinions. It is not a dead obvious/poor forgery considering some "Lugosi's" that attempt to pass as genuine. Let's see what others say. I am saying doubtful, at this point, and open to other eyes.
1955 he was in Hospital, not 1952 - that was the year of Glen or Glenda, which I have the master 35mm reel of and what I was thinking of re 1952. I screened this uncropped print at Bela Jr.s request in NYC for his estate. I attach a few frames below.
Do you have a photo of this cousin of your grandmothers? Mr. Perkins might be in this video linked below. Bela died just a year later:
After looking some more, I am a bit doubtful. Three mistakes in spelling? "Sweethart" - would he write this really? Perhaps other eyes will respond. I am seeing ink laid down in a way that suggests unnatural hesitation, apart from other more structural things already mentioned etc. Some is very convincing. Bold, to try to forge all that handwriting. But that "u"...and signed on the Reverse seems a bit odd, one way or another. The whole thing looks more like an early 40's signature, as on the card posted above, and so legible. Anyone else?
I do not have a photo currently, but I can see if I can dig one up. Thanks very much!
I will throw my opinion in although I am not a handwriting expert. If this item has been in your family all these years I would say this is genuine. I do not believe this is an act of forgery and it looks close enough to pass.
I see what you are saying Joe, but does it really look like other 1950's examples at TheCead etc? Here is an attempt to correct the white balance and sharpen the image a bit. It just looks odd and scratchy/hesitant to me. Ballpoint also is a little bit unusual here. It just seems a bit jerky - he often is quite smooth in his formations, if a bit messy, from what I have seen.
And I can see your valid points as well, Eric. Just seems like a lot of unnecessary work for an intentional forgery. If the story is accurate and it's been in private hands for this long I would find it hard to think someone not familiar with his signature could some this close. Indeed, some oddities about this one but if the providence is accurate. Although, getting it authenticated may be difficult.
This reminds me of the Elizabeth Taylor that's been in my family since my grandfather obtained it in person in the mid 50's. Some shy away from it because it's more rushed and doesn't fit the mold perfectly. But, it is the real deal.