How do you feel about this? To "sticker" or not to "sticker' ... that is the question............

This signed Paul Newman was once a part of my collection at one point.  As you can see, it had a third party authentication sticker adhered to it when a previous owner had used that particular authentication service.  

How do you feel about the use of stickers like this?  The person who had this done had gone to the trouble to submit the photo and invest in the service.  They had chosen to have the label attached so that information would prominently remain as a part of the history of the piece.  Many items have these kind of stickers on them and many more on the verso of a given photo.

One advantage I can think of is if you lose the accompanying certificate or letter from the TPA, you have the sticker on the item itself to show it passed authentication.  Is this a good practice....perhaps it even increases the desirability of the piece?  oes this take away from the aesthetic of the item?  Or perhaps it makes no difference at all?

I'd be interested to hear thoughts from members......

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I will not buy, sell or recommend anything stickered. Ever see a Beatles set, Morrison or Hendrix with a sticker on the front? Not many. And if the company tanks - what then? A hair dryer? It is free advertising, destructive...many will say it maximizes sales, but that has not been my experience. I do OK w/o them. Polishing vintage molding or metal from an ocean liner increases sales to many. But seasoned collectors will avoid such altered items. I also don't like it's suggestion that one needs help or did not do their homework.

Ugly as sin -- and for me, personally, on the same level of depravity as taking documents with signatures, cutting them out, plopping them into a card slab and j****** up the price to absurd levels in order to justify the "authentication."


It's funny you use that example of cutting out the signature of a signed document.  I had a nice Marlon Brando fax sheet of paper. It was sent to the U.S. patent office informing them that a certain law firm was representing him regarding a patent he was seeking...about 1999.. so later in life.  Brando, a lifelong drum enthusiast, was toward the end of his life seeking a patent for a drum tensioner that he had devised.  It did have a sticker on the bottom left of the fax...but not really obtrusive.  The fellow that I sold it to ended up cutting the signature out to pair with a photo for framing.  

Obviously it was his to do with what he wanted but I was a bit sad that this document and the context was lost since it involved a pursuit that was near and dear to Marlon's heart.

It looks like Newman is staring at the sticker. Would have been better to place it on the reverse.

LOL good point. It does look like that.

Can those stickers be removed safely?

Possibly with a hair dryer I am told. On the Reverse I would try with a good blade.

Makes sense about the hair dryer.  It would turn the adhesive to gunk and it could then be carefully removed.  I wonder if that would work as well on a matte-finish photo?  Glossy would seem a better candidate.

It may also be prudent to consider Goo Gone.

I use it to remove price stickers and residue from books - part of my "bookbuyer's toolkit". Just a drop or two over the sticker, let it work its way in for a few moments then rub away consistently but carefully. Can't tell you how many books I've saved from damaging stickers, particularly Value Village and Talize.

Interesting...will Goo Gone affect the emulsion of the actual photo?

I haven't tested it on photos, only dust jackets -- and it's strong stuff, to be fair. So long as it's wiped off a few seconds after, you should be in good shape.

Alternately, I have found that lens cleaning wipes (with the alcohol that dissipates after a few minutes if you don't use it) are good substitutes for a once-over cleaning.



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