Hello James Dean experts out there,

I am new to this forum and I am looking for your help. I just recently acquired the attached James Dean autograph on an old piece of paper (cut out, with stains). The dedication "my very best" as well as the autograph is written in light blue ink.

The previous owner is a private collector who bought complete autograph collections and also chases VIPs for autographs himself.

On the reverse side of the autograph there is a small pencil note "W. Albers / Mai 1955  Theatre - Kaliformien  Persönlich" (German language; indicating that it was personally collected in a theatre in California by Mr. W. Albers in May 1955). The lenght of the signature is 11cm/4 inches.

Has anybody seen this autograph before? Any ideas about its provenance? What do you think - is it an authentic James Dean signature? Would anybody dare to estimate its value?

Any feedback is highly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.

Kind regards




Tags: Dean, James

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That is where I was but the date, and this and the bad Kennedy appeared to be from the same source. I thought it a good candidate but once I put the date in context it needs very careful review. I did say "good" and it may be - but the date...It appears to have much in common with those album pages at PSA. 

Hello "terrier8HOF"!

Frst of all, I must apologize for my late reply! I had been very busy for various reaons (job & personal) lately. Thanks for your comment - which is at least a little encouraging for me :-)

Thanks for giving me hope ;-) I also did some further research (see following posts)...

Kind regards

I'm familiar with Dean and I feel this is far off from a real one. The PSA Facts ones give you good examples of his autograph. I have never seen a J like that, and the D is rarely more than a smidge below the baseline, and usually not at all.

The tails of letters like g and y typically pull to the right. The b looks nothing like I've seen, the s as well, and lowercase letters like the b and t are usually not pointed at the top.

These aren't large examples but here are a few letters from an article I published regarding some Dean letters to his girlfriend that Christie's sold in 2011. These are examples of handwriting, there's only one signature and that's first name only.

OnceI realized that date I took a much more sskepical view - he was racing the Liitle  Basterd" 3  or 4 days before...optimistic. And to have the date noted even raised my eyebrow. I am with Steve as well as the hand  observations.

Hey Eric,

I am very sorry for not having replied earlier. It has been an extremely busy time for me lately.

Thank you for your comment! However, I do not really understand the date issue! What is noted in lead pencil on the back is just "MAY 1955" - and this month had 31 days...

You are perfectly right that he was racing on May 1st and 2nd and also on May 28-29 (cf., but in between there seems to be quite some time for signing autographs...

Just google "james dean may 1955" (photos) and you will find several pictures of him showing him e.g. in a restaurant (Googie’s Diner, Hollywood) with friends or in front of Schwab’s Drugstore, Hollywood.

So the date issue in my humble opinion is not really a factor for fake...

What do you think? I appreciate your time and effort :-)

Best regards

I'll reply shortly but any autograph provably written by him in the period he died, while racing "little basterd" in the days on your item, deserves extra scrutiny.

Hello Eric,

okay, cool - thanks in advance :-) But James Dean was killed in a highway accident on September 30, 1955 - so 4 months ago. His fame only lasted a very short time anyhow...

My best

That is why this is special if it were real. MORE not less.

I got your point, Eric ;-) Thanks!

He dies driving this car 4 months later. Did you pay a premium for this? If not I might be worried, especially if the seller should have known.

No, the price was quite a bargain, I assume... However, it came without Certificate or anything similar...

Dear Steve,

first of all, I would like to apologize for my late reply! I had been very busy for various reaons (job & personal) lately. Secondly, I wanna thank you for your in-depth analysis of the James Dean autograph. And thanks for the handwriting samples!

Anyhow - I agree that there may be some irregularities - but I also studied various autographs that claim to be authentic. The "J" seems to go from the bottom right to the top left - sometimes in a very sharp angle, and somtimes also looping back on the opposite side!

Right, the "D" is lower than the baseline - but this also seems to have happened in other signatures.

Concerning the loops of y's and g's - see the "thinker" autograph attached. And frankly speaking, I do not see a pointing top with the "b" - maybe a little with the t, okay...

So taking all this into consideration - may I ask you to reconsider? Please do not get me wrong - I highly appreciate your evaluation. However, I think this could be challenging enough... ;-)

Looking forward to your comment.

Many thanks in advance!

Kind regards



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