Can you tell me if you think this Bette Davis lobby card is authentic?
I was going to send it into PSA, but some cash flow issues had me hold off.
I did do some background research though (done before I saw abcd's most recent responses). I will paste it below.
I think I probably will stick with abcd's opinion that it is authentic unless swayed otherwise.
They have vintage era paintings:
Several of them. All have signed by initial R -- which is the "name" on their certificate, RN Collectibles. All look to be very detailed paintings. They do not show backs of canvas, so I cannot tell if new or old.
Other signed drawings they sold or had complete recently:
THey also had recently some high end antiques, 1700s US and Civil War era, paper items, including some Civil War letters.
I wonder with the artistic ability of RN if they are able to forge signatures more easily, i.e. more fluid and easy duplication of signatures? You would think it could be possible. But their paintings and drawings are all vintage era people, so it is possible they are all legit. They could have got them signed in person as claimed if living in NY or TTM. Thanks again....i will sign off now and check in tomorrow.
Hello, some closing general thoughts...
If this signature were not on this card, what would its "quality" be - would you want such an example?
If one were to forge a Bette Davis, would Baby Jane not be the safest, most desirable property? Can one say most serious Baby Jane collectors are not autograph collectors and thus "easier marks" for problem material?
What was Bette Davis' normal placement on signed lobby cards and the like?
And to mention, there are certain autographs that I know are genuine, demonstrably so with much work, such as an early Gleason I saw recently. I know a bit about Gleason signatures. I and about 3 others know it to be genuine - but it will produce questions from most all other collectors - so I don't want it. I want to hear "WOW! not "Umm". Good luck! :)
PS - You can't see the Reverse of those canvases because they are not canvases - they are fairly recent cheap canvas boards with what I will call "amateur" work of little value.
PSS - I should have been more clear. The Gleason is only identifiable as genuine when you know the date, and understand the fact that it was probably his first ball point signature on a matte finish double weight photograph. This explains all the apparent odd features - but only when understood with context. I mistook it for something else myself at first as did others - but a certain nagging, the reverse of what I feel here, had me work for about 24 hours to a**** all and ascertain the item for what it really is.
Thanks again for your very carefully considered opinion.
I am interested in starting a Bette Davis collection in the next year or two. (I have some others that are higher priorities first.) For the most part I plan to only consider JSA/PSA or Historyforsale as sources, unless I see something exceptional, such as this, which I took a chance on. I may look to other auctions, such as R&R. If I go that direction, would you say I am likely to be safe? I know they are not infallible, but I would assume most of the above would be safe?
"Only you can prevent forest fires".
Nobody looks out for you more than you do. Only you have reason to care more (and it is your money). You have no one to answer but you and the considered criterion of your collection. Do others?
It's like being young again. Homework is in order. And it is the fun and the meat of this hobby. And steer well clear of anyone who claims to know everything.
AML is your safety net
You are your own god
Why limit yourself to such a strict criteria? Bette Davis autographs are not that difficult to learn with a little study. Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to find some nice examples at lower prices. The only advice I would suggest would be to stay away from borderline examples.
+1. I should perhaps mention now that I will never buy, sell or recommend anything vandalized with a stupid sticker from those "services". Free adverting. They are too large, go in the worst places, never quite the edge, and they are red white and blue - eyesore and fairly unremovable. If I were to buy such a thing I would do exactly the same work, and the sticker would be on the cert. What will happen when this or that company goes out of favor and the stickers become a liability? With coins you could just reslab in another holder. Anyway, no thanks. I buy autographs and artifacts with those submission fees. I do my own authentication in several areas for about 20 years now or more, more, selling to collectors and museums on both sides of the pond - I was selling New York World's Fair memorabilia inside the shop of the 1938 NYC building in Flushing Meadows Park in the 90's and vintage color Fair photography after that, well before eBay. And I have done OK. :)
Thanks again to all. I try to look, but I recognize that I may not be best at accessing. I can recognize attributes of a signature, but have no way to know how to tell if it has been forged. Whether something is blocky, fluid, etc., I have no way to tell, so someone could imitate the key attributes, and I would not be able to tell.
I detest the stickers, but I also like peace of mind too.
So, Joe W., you say it is easy to find cheaper Bette Davis that lacks the sticker. Do you find she is not forged that much and if I see a lot of the key attributes of her signature, as shown in this thread, that it is likely genuine?
Not speaking for Joe, but each potential example must be taken on its own merits without regard to source/seller etc. Or sticker.
There are Bette Davis signatures in all price ranges. It's a great time to buy vintage material. With that said, take your time and study what's out there. Can't say any of us are right 100% of the time but we gain experience, we become better at our assessments.
Bette also had secretaries sign for her as well. I don't think anyone is forging much of her today although, maybe 20 years ago, that would be a different story.
Ask questions. At least, even with differing opinions, you will gain some nuggets of knowledge. Main thing is that you feel comfortable with what you own. Since you asked about this particular signature here perhaps you already had a shadow of a doubt?
I did look on worthpoint and found a Baby Jane lobby card sold about 10 years ago. Similar placement of name on the card and style. The "Hello to" portion seems identical.
Note: I made another comment about the 62/416 being same as mine, but searched and saw that that is on many/all others.