I recently won this item on Julien's Auction and would like to get some opinions on the signature. I believe the signature is genuine, but of course I would like to read some of your opinions. What do you think? This was originally owned by Michael's personal physician, Dr. Steven Hoefflin. Judging from the release date of the newspaper and the signature style, I believe this might have been signed around 1984.
Thank you all for your help,
Big Saturn Comics
With all of...this...I wonder if this will be one of things with a cloud over it.
I am just going to throw this out there, as I do not have an opinion on the signature itself. Forgers love to sign on newspaper. We have seen many forgeries on newspaper. It is one of the most obtainable & cheapest mediums to practice and use - and the best part about it as you can always find celebrity photos & print to pair a signature with. Always cheaper than a photo or anything else relatable to an individual. One of the reasons why I would never buy a signed newspaper without absolute, undeniable provenance
What doesn’t make sense to me is why Dr. Steven Hoefflin would ever forge a signature? He’s a very accomplished physician and I don’t think he gained much money from the auctions. If anything he maybe made the equivalent of 1 or 2 patients? Why would he risk his medical license and reputation forging Michael’s signature, especially after the “big boom” and demand for Michael’s signature was over. He would have made much more money selling these items in 2009. I have looked through his other Michael items and they are all genuine in my eyes. Between items the signature style chances and does not stay constant which is a good thing. Forgers usually stick to one style. Some are inscribed and it matches almost to a T. The items sold are all items that would be found in a medical office. Also, we have to remember that this signatures were all obtained before any strict medical laws were put into place (i.e. HIPAA). Michael was at the height of his popularity. If Michael walked into my office I would grab whatever I can to get signed. Unless you had a Polaroid camera handy, I don’t think personnel were told when a client would arrive so preparation for photos to be made (remember this is the 80’s) would prove to be difficult. The only items I could think of that would be appropriate in a medical office would be newspapers, magazines, polaroids, and dot matrix paper (80’s, before printers were commercially popular).
To the idea of personnel being notified - it's a Doctor - an appointment, no?
There is some sense of privacy when it comes to celebrity appointments. Otherwise, paparazzi would be at every medical center waiting for the celebrity to arrive. The only people who would be prepared for his arrival would probably be the physician, nurse, and secretary.
Is it not one of those who would have obtained this signature?
I have read through this discussion and, perhaps I am missing something, but has any other professional authenticator evaluated this signature?
I cannot speak on this signature directly as I have virtually little experience with Jackson's autograph. Although I have learned quite a bit on certain things to avoid to prevent potential "clouds".
Newspaper signatures are at the bottom of the desirability list. They need to be treated to avoid yellowing and have a short shelf life. And I still question why, if given advance notice, that if I was going to have access to Michael and could obtain his signature. Why a newspaper?
Even if it is authentic, it would be a tough "sell". This one needs solid verification with paperwork. IMHO.
I also get why would a Doctor forge his autograph? This is a bizarre story on all sides.
We def. have a hung jury.
The sig in question is atypical at the least.
And if the story goes that he was stoned when he signed (thus explaining the unnatural look of it), then you could theoretically make that argument with any MJ signature in the ballpark.
And thats pretty scary.
+1 to JoeW - It's enough for me to think "avoid".
Has anyone besides Wascher and Big Saturn researched and examined the other related Michael Jackson lots in the auction and the history of the consigner? A lot of information is available that you need to examine to responsibly gauge authenticity.
If something is impossible or a clearly obvious fake, then you might not need to. But that's not the case here.
This autograph was part of Julien's Nov. 2018 Idols and Icons Auction. Here's a link to the catalog: