Over the last few days I have posted in-person Paul, George and Ringo autographs. These were all collected by the same collector back in the 80s.
I was fairly confident that these three were genuine when I bought them five years ago and am pleased that no one has taken the opposite view so far. An index card signed "John Lennon" came with them. The story was (and I have no doubt at all that it is true) that the collector had not managed to get Lennon's autograph in-person (hardly surprising given that Lennon had probably been dead several years before the others were obtained) and had purchased a Lennon from "a dealer" (unknown) to make up the set for display purposes
I knew when I bought the set that the Lennon was highly unusual to say the least and probably fake but I was happy to pay what I did for the other three. I have since spent countless hours at various times searching for any other Lennons that look remotely like mine.
Like many collectors I do have massive self-delusional tendencies at times but I did have some other reasons for spending so much time on the search. In order of importance:
1. The autograph was probably bought in the mid-80s, when the price of a Lennon index card was likely to have been around $100-$200, so hardly worth faking.
2. It seemed unlikely that a forger would make such a bad job of a 70s Lennon - hopelessly optimistic thinking on my part perhaps.
3. In 1991 Rudi Franchi had a given the deceased collector's relatives an insurance appraisal value of $1,800, which suggests that he believed all signatures were legitimate. Obviously Rudi is not the "go to" man on the Beatles but he had probably seen a few post-Beatles Lennons by this time.
You can see that this is a very odd beast. It was obviously displayed for quite a few years given the difference in tone between the tanned exposed part and cream unexposed part. As the collector died in 1990 I would guess it had been displayed by him since the mid-80s.
Apart from the overall cramped appearance of the autograph and the almost total lack of pressure points in it, the oddest things to me have always been the pointy "h" and "L" in the middle and the "o" in John:
Pointy "h" and "L"
Ironically, the only other example I could find with the two high pointy uprights in the middle was the Chapman "Double Fantasy" from 1980. Obviously this was formed in a far less deliberate way:
Otherwise, not many exemplars come anywhere near. Probably the nearest is a Grapefruit from 1971:
There are plenty of "pointy" "L" examples around but all without the "h". Roger had one in his useful forerunner of the current 1970s Lennon study (example 5 from Japan):
What is supposedly Lennon's last autograph is also a "pointy"
Ballroom also had his fair share of pointy "Ls" in the current Lennon study (in fact the bottom left one is probably a pointy "h" followed by a lower case "l"):
I could find no signatures with the exact same "o" but one of ballroom's was at least formed in a vaguely similar way (top left example):
Phew! You can tell that I have been trying desperately hard to believe in my Lennon even though it is probably a hopeless cause and even though I always regarded it as highly suspect.
Has anyone seen anything like it, anywhere, anytime?
P.S. To illustrate my point about Lennon values in the 1980s this hand-drawn Christmas card (on a double LP blank and fully signed to the inside) carried the princely estimate of £180 - £350!
I agree with Fab...I don't like it...just my 2 cents...
Starts off badly, with that extra little serpent's tongue penned in afterward, and proceeds from bad to worse. I don't even think Felix would touch it with his 11 foot pole. 8o) So many points and written in red that it looks Satan himself may have forged it.
A big "NO" on this one.
I have attached photos of the 2007 beatles auction which may have new examples. all have been approved by frank ciaizza. It is not complete of entire auctionhttp:
Don't like it at all,not signed by John Lennon.
As it turns out, I was correct. My ex is one of Satan's daughters. I just called and asked her. She took a look and confirmed that it's one of her dad's Lennon forgeries, case closed. 8)
Well, no one can accuse me of not trying.
I was always 95-99% sure that this was not genuine and it would have just been a massive bonus if anyone had thought it had a chance. At the very least I acquired a lot of knowledge about Lennon autographs through researching it.
I actually feel more sorry for the original purchaser as he probably spent hours admiring it, thinking he had something written and touched by Lennon. In a way I guess it doesn't matter as he never knew about its authenticity and got a lot of pleasure from it.
Lennon's 70's signature always confuses the heck out of me, never can tell the good from the bad. But I can spot a fake vs a real 60's signature from a mile away.....
Maybe the 70's one is more difficult to figure out.
Sorry it wasn't good.