At Steve Cyrkin's invitation, I'd like to call your attention to a signature study I've posted on my blog, Charlton Heston signature study by Steve Zarelli.

I believe I have identified the "tell" in Charlton Heston secretarial signatures, and if I am correct, the news is not good for most collectors. It appears that most  Heston signed photos are secretarially signed.


Here is a synopsis:

The Theory
Photographs and other memorabilia sent to Mr. Heston's office were signed by a secretary. However, Mr. Heston did authentically sign books through-the-mail.  

Real vs. Secretary
In authentic signatures, the R in "Charlton" is distinctly a lowercase "r" and less than half the height of the L. The first four letters are clearly "Char."

In secretarial signatures, the R looks much more like a lowercase "l" and is about the same height as the L. So, the first four letters appear to be "Chall."

I have attached two images to give you a small sampling.  

For more details and images, please visit my blog at the link below.

I'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this. I fully anticipate some resistance to the theory, because denial is always the first step. In fact, I would love to be proved wrong, because that would mean I wasn't sitting on a bunch of secretary signed photos!

By way of introduction, I have been collecting since the early 90s and I am the UACC Ethics Director.

I look forward to the discussion.

The Collecting Obsession


Steve Zarelli


Tags: Charlton, Forgery, Heston, Secretary, authenticating, autograph, secretarial

Views: 15038


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

The end result may be the same, but to own a forged, secretarial somehow feels worse than owning the secretarial. Lol.

In a perverse way there is some comfort that forgers are forging secretarial rather than real signatures.

I know it is not much consolation but PSA-DNA, JSA and many others were fooled by this "style" of his autograph so don't feel bad.  I agree with Steve I think this is a forgery and not Heston's personal secretary.  She was really good at his signature and was much smoother than this appears to be. 

Perhaps you could also look at this one too, thanks... :)

Hey Steve, I think you checked this for me some years ago and confirmed that this was the authentic style when the first study came out, but I just want to confirm mate that my memory is correct, please? Cheers from downunda David :)

Hi David - I don't recall seeing this pic before, but I could be mistaken. I agree with Jason that it is suspect.

The wreck photo is undoubtedly secretary IMO.


The Wreck photo is secretarial, I think an 80s version and in later years the double L became more prominent. I think the other is a forgery trying hand at the real signature.

Cheers for that guys and out they go.... your time is appreciated... it was shortly after the study as I returned a bunch of Planet of the Apes signed photos to a seller. They were great and gave an instant refund. These have been sitting in my personal collection for a long time but was planning to sell them but not now. D... :) Have a great Christmas across the pond... :) 

In my opinion, this is good. Appears to be a fountain pen signature.


© 2009-2017   Created by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service