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!
Here is some context: from top down, his 1944 MP card, an SP C. 1948-52 signed to a friend of his I had some emails with who verified it, one from Bakers Guide C. 1940 or so I think, and another from the early 1950's London play of Dracula from an auction house we know of IIRC and then the OP. I'm looking at the things I mentioned earlier - notably the "L", and attack on the "u" and so on, along with the overall baseline and legibility:
That red 1950's fits you just posted in quite nicely - look at the direction the "u" is...cresting, like a waves peaks, and the overall slant and looseness. It does have a more stable baseline with a much more typical "B" and "L" (bottom loop of "l" as well and top and form). The bit at the top of the "s" is period correct, and this is seen on the OP's as well. But that clean "e" in "love" on the OP's photo seems a bit odd.
Well, I am just talking about what I am seeing here. If this were David Bowie or Jackie Gleason I would have more experience. I have learned to be very skeptical with Lugosi - perhaps I am overtly cautious. Perhaps this is a very nervous, somewhat haphazard note and signature, but something makes me a bit wary. Thanks for the added image - more of the handwriting would be good. What you showed here is useful.
Here is another comparison with 1954 and 1955 examples only from thecead.com. Click for full image:
What I am trying to determine is the circumstances involved when signed. I know there is nearly always differences when obtaining a signature in person versus a more slowly written letter, etc. I could see, perhaps, he is writing this note during a recovery period thus making his writing a bit more slow and deliberate. Possibly more shaky as well.
It is a much more personal of an item than usually found. The key is still the providence. Was it received in the mail or personally handed to the recipient?
I don't know if that is going to be knowable. I see that, Joe - I also see some curves where one might expect more angularity, and angularity where one might expect more smoothness.
Here is a letter to his last wife Hope, written right after his release, 1955 so right exact period. Click for full image:
Now looking at the handwriting alongside several letters and postcards 1940-1955, with more examples and more context, I believe this signed photo to be "likely genuine" (slight reservation/hesitation still). I'd want to see it in hand. I've managed to find precedent for what looks odd here in letters going back 15 years. There are a few things but I note the "grain" of the fiber based photographic paper is running at the angle of his slants and might have something to do with the neat somewhat atypical appearance, as well as illness, nervousness and an early scratchy ballpoint (which would explain the placement on the Reverse - a nervous hand and the early ballpoints often skipped all over the place on glossy photo paper, and many did not fare well).
PS - That apparently is Richard Gordon - Scott Paul helped my memory. I recall a photo of Art or Dick with Bela, but apparently I can't recall which one. It is some time ago - I believe Dick has been dead for about 4 or 5 years now.
Great discussion! Eric, your research is second to none.
Thanks Joe. I was just looking for satisfactory answers to explain what I was seeing.
I was a bit skeptical at first although it had good qualities. I think with the time period does explain a lot. English was not his first language so the "Sweethart" might make sense.