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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Jan Schray was one of the first and at time the only US dealer I was aware about who only deals in 100% In Person stuff back in the early 90's. I bought several items in my early years from her and her book "Celebrity Signature Facsimiles" from 1996/97 is one the the bibles in my library for contemporary stuff and has opened my eyes on some by mail secretarials when it was published. I only asked her once about opinions, but as far as I am aware she refused to help, cause she said shes not into such activities, cause she only collect and deal personally obtained stuff, that was for me than a fair statement which I accepted. I think anyone who has collectoed or dealed in genuine stuff in the past 20 years should known her nam ! She is a pioneer at In Person collecting !


Thank you. We don't even have her book in our library. She's listed as an active UACC RD. Do you know if she's actually still in the business? Her address is listed with no phone number, email or Web site.


Steve, I have no idea if she is still active in the scene or business. I have sold some of those books back when it's was published to some European collectors and I can only recommend it to anyone which is interested in cntemoprary stuff, sure in the meantime it's 14 years since it publication, but then this book was and as far as i am aware still is the only book with such a large collection of 100% genuine autographs from the 1950/60's to the mid 90's. It was published by "Collectors Marketing, Inc. & D. Bernhard"
when jan collected she was compared to micheal wehrmann, she was very aggressive and a good collector, but no in person collector can ever compare to micheal.

i heard from someone in california that jan has been out of in person collecting close to 10 years now, and i think she might be in her late 70s if shes still alive, but anything you got from her is 100% genuine.

Well I feel better then, not knowing who she is. She's still with us though, as she's a UACC-RD.
yes, anything which came direct from her was 100% genuine ! And it makes sense, I wasnt aware she might be that old in the meantime, but at some point in the late 90's I did not get anymore sale lists from her.

Ok, one more and then I'm done for tday....  Cyrkin how does anyone get any work done around here!


I don't get much done. I've basically become an underpaid babysitter.
for me this is a secretary ! And if it is not purchased direct from Jan Schray herself, I doubt it comes from her !


I agree that both the B&W and color ones look like they were signed by the same person.

If I had to make a guesstimate...


* The black and white is a TTM secretarial. I would not accept that as an IP sig without unquestionable, ironclad provenance.

* The color is authentic. But it was signed in a hurry or while standing... he simply skipped over the R or the A and R blended together.



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