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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

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Here’s one certed by Beckett and another reason why you should ALWAYS go by the graph, not the certification company. Another decent attempt, but fake nonetheless, imo.

I agree with your assessment.

So here’s three from the same seller for your consideration. They all look like they’re done in a different hand, with the first being an obvious badly done fake. The second, while having some decent qualities, is also not real imo. The last one has me stumped. To me it has the feel of an in person rushed example, with everything being good right up until the end, where I feel he just ran out of room and finished it the very odd way that you can see. If it was a fake you would’ve thought they would’ve at least attempted his usual squiggle downwards? Unfortunately there’s not a lot of “rushed standing later in life IP 100% real examples” out there that I’ve seen, and therefore don’t have a lot to go on for that. Does anyone have any others that they can share? Any real IP earlier examples all look as good as his sit down ones from what I’ve seen, so they’re not as much help.  Please feel free to add your comments for all the others I’ve posted. Thanks!

I wouldn't touch any of these. The first two are highly unlikely, the last has a slim chance at best IMO.

Since the thread has been resurrected, how about an assessment of this c. 1990s TTM book.

Thanks for any feedback.

Thumbs up. 👍🏻 

Great research/study, very helpful. It would seem then that the sig below would likely be legit…would you agree? Appreciate the feedback.  

Book looks good!

That's a great dual-signed book. 



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