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Neil Armstrong Signed 8X10 Photograph....Mueller Autographs.....Authentic or Not Authentic

I was checking out a new auction site and stumbled upon a Neil Armstrong signed 8X10 photograph posted by Mueller Autographs.  The starting bid is $2,500.00.  It's been listed for approximately three weeks now with no bids.  According to the item description it is a "1986 signed through-the-mail (TTM)"autograph.

My first reaction, based on 1985 Neil Armstrong exemplars signed TTM, is that the Neil Armstrong, posted by Mueller Autographs, is not authentic. 

I will not reveal my reasons for calling it "not authentic," in my opinion.  If you want to get on me for that, that is fine with me, but I will not provide forgers of Neil Armstrong's signature any information that may improve their work.

An authentic Neil Armstrong signed 8X10 photo, that is not inscribed, will sell for approximately $3,500.00 or higher if in very condition, but yet this one this sits at $2,500.00 for three weeks now.

I also want you to think about this.  The starting bid is $2,500.00.  If that Neil Armstrong is authentic, why hasn't anyone grabbed it at the $2,500.00 starting bid, and then consigned it to a major auction house like REA, Lelands, Heritage, etc?    Or why not list it on Ebay where the viewing audience is much larger?

Below you will find two Neil Armstrong autographed photos.  The first one is the one listed by Mueller Autographs.   The second photo is a 1985 In-Person.  The third photo is a 1985 TTM.

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Comment by Christopher Williams on February 14, 2012 at 2:35pm

DB had originally written that my pointing out the location of the item (why it's not on Ebay or a major auction site) was irrelevant and that this thread should only be about the Neil Armstrong signature.  DB is correct, this is about the signature, and it is the seller's choice where they want to sell the item.  But personally, if I had a high-end item like a Neil Armstrong signed item, I'd want to sell at a location where I am going to get the most for it.

Yes, I leave myself open to a ton of criticism, but that's fine with me.  This is about the signature of Neil Armstrong.

Comment by Christopher Williams on February 14, 2012 at 2:56pm

I have deleted the original thread.  I did not like it getting off-track.  It was getting too muddy.  None of the original text has changed except that I am using 1985 exemplars.   I have added two new Neil Armstrong signed items for comparison.  One is a 1985 In-Person and the other one is a 1985 Through-The Mail.

Comment by Christopher Williams on February 14, 2012 at 4:34pm

Now, let's get to the signature itself.  When I first noticed it a few weeks ago my first impression is that "it looks methodically produced and not loose.  No fluidity."  There are other issues that I will not reveal here, and if anyone has an issue with that, I understand, but I will not give forgers any information that can be used to improve their work.

It has always been my opinion that forgers gain much more information from the written word than from photographs.  As an example, I was never impressed with "Greg Marino's" Mickey Mantle.  He was an artist who used his artistic talents (visualization) to emulate Mantle's autograph, not from the written word.

Comment by Steve Zarelli on February 15, 2012 at 8:54am

As most experienced space collectors are aware, Neil Armstrong is a deceptively difficult autograph to authenticate. Over the past 60 years from his X-15 days to present, he has had no less than five major signature styles, and a great deal of variation within each of those styles. Additionally, he occasionally uses block writing and even a very uncommon cursive signature when signing documents or receipts.

That said, there are certain commonalities between the styles. If you study long enough, it “clicks” and the differences between real and fake become obvious.  It’s an autograph that requires years of study and seeing thousands of real exemplars to be truly informed.

Given the cost of an Armstrong autograph, forgeries abound – from childish imitations to highly deceptive.

In my opinion, the signature in question is not authentic. In my view, it has a number of fatal flaws including formation, flow, and size. I will not provide a point-by-point analysis of the issues in a public forum. Below is a side-by-side with two other 80s era authentic exemplars, which I believe illustrates the issue plainly.

This is not the first time I have seen the distinct look of this compressed style. I have similar suspect signatures in my exemplar files. They are always unpersonalized and found on White Space Suit portraits or lunar surface glossies.

This is my opinion and others are free to disagree. However, given that the item has not immediately sold at $2,500 leads me to believe it is an opinion shared by other experienced space collectors. An unpersonalized Armstrong WSS with a bold signature would easily sell for $4,000 at any number of auction houses.

Comment by roger epperson on February 18, 2012 at 3:46pm

I may not know what a Neil Armstrong signature looks like but I darn sure would not buy one from someone (Todd Mueller) who writes this on a blog "Neil Armstrong was the first person to step foot on another planet, the moon (just so the newly anointed expert knows which planet we are talking about)."  For all of the newly anointed experts, that is the 10th planet, The Moon we are talking about! My side won't heal from laughing so hard!  You would think that a suck up like Van Der Weasel would have filled him in on this since the site he blogs on lets them change their post!  Your check might be a little light this week sir.  LOL  Looks like the thespians are in full force today.

Comment by Christopher Williams on March 4, 2012 at 3:35pm

Look at this pathetic Neil Armstrong forgery listed by a seller in the UK named collextions.  This is a horrible a forgery as you'll ever see.

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager on March 4, 2012 at 3:53pm

It's bad, but I've seen worse for sure.

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager on March 4, 2012 at 3:59pm

Here's one that's even worse:


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