I have this Elton John signature in my collection. It’s quite large and measures like 5x7 inches. I might sell or trade it at some point. I am thinking about sending it to get authenticated. I am also thinking about getting it slabbed if I do get it authenticated. What do you think is the best authentication company to use for this purpose? I know of Beckett, PSA and JSA. But I also know there are certain specialized authentication companies for certain autographs but maybe it’s best to stick with the ones that do all types of autographs?
I am pretty sure this autograph is authentic but I know if I go to sell/trade it I would have a much better time with it being authenticated. I like the idea of getting it slabbed but I know some people might prefer it not slabbed so they can frame it and such. So a few options but want to hear your thoughts. I also have a Barack Obama signature I think I will get slabbed if I go this route. I know it’s expensive though and it would be my first time getting autographs authenticated so I would like some advice and ideas and thoughts.
UPDATE: I sent this to Beckett for encapsulation. It just came back a few days ago. It did NOT pass authentication.
Personally, I’m not keen on this. It doesn’t look authentic, to me. Although, I should stress that others here are much more knowledgeable on his signature than I am, so do continue to seek additional opinions.
Have you looked into the provenance of this autograph? I ask because there’s an important clue in the date inscribed in the top, right-hand corner. Assuming that’s 17 September 2007, I have taken a look at Elton’s touring schedule during that period. That particular day there were no concerts, but the following day he did play Red Square in Moscow.
This can’t have come to you out of nowhere, so can you trace the provenance back to Russia? If it is legit then it must have been obtained either by someone who lives there or by a dedicated fan who travelled to see the Red Square concert. If you can’t trace it back, that’s a massive red flag, IMO.
As an aside, I’m always suspicious of these types of large, clean, modern signatures on blank pages. Whenever I’ve sought autographs in person, I’ve always looked to have the artist sign something relevant: either a tour poster, a programme, or just their latest album release. I’ve never presented anyone with a blank sheet to sign.
The person I originally got it from provided me little detail about original owner but said he got three different Elton John’s from him at the time and two of them “passed” authentication. He appears to specialize in Elton John as he has dozens of various Elton John signed items obtained from various sources. Many of them authenticated. He said he was confident this one is authentic since he knows Elton John’s autograph better than anyone. When I emailed him about it he said Beckett messes up Elton John quite often since they don’t know his signature that well. So that is why I asked about PSA. He had not gotten back to me about PSA.
That may be true about Beckett, but, then again, I put little stock in any of those major authentication companies.
Like I say, I’m not an expert on Elton’s signature. I’m not even a fan, particularly. I own of few of those 99p “Cold Heart” art cards, and I’m happy enough sticking at that.
That aside, I’ve looked at genuine examples of his more elaborate signature, and I’m still not convinced yours is legit. It looks too rounded in sections where he tends to be more angular. Plus, without some convincing provenance, I’m not buying that date in the corner at all. It’s not impossible — I’ve travelled to many gigs abroad in my time — but, for all the reasons I’ve mentioned, it just doesn’t add up, for me.
We do have some Elton experts on the forum, so I’d be as interested as you to hear what they have to say.
Thanks. I had a few others look at it and compare and they said the same thing. I am thinking PSA probably won’t pass it as a result. I only sent it in for authentication because I was getting ready to sell it and the buyer needed authentication to go forward. Looks like I am out $310 (paid $200 for item I traded to get this Elton John and $110 for entire Beckett transaction). Needless to say had it passed authentication I would had made $200 (was going to get $500).
This may be a little after the fact but I have my doubts about this signature. There is a member here who knows Elton's signature well. Here is a link to his profile. You may want to try to contact him.
If he says it's good, it's good.
I don’t feel this is genuine either, I’m sorry to say.
Thanks. I appreciate your help.
Now will have to see if I can get my original trade reversed. I traded a Bruce Springsteen cut signature from the Renegades book for this. It was over a year ago so I am afraid the trader may no longer have it. I should have had this Elton John looked at much sooner but I was debating about sending to Third Party Authentication (never used any in my life before this experience) until I had a buyer interested in it that needed authentication. I fully expected it to pass mostly based on what original trader told me (he’s an expert on Elton John and had dozens of Elton John autographs in his collection including many authenticated by PSA). I sent to Beckett because their turn around time is much quicker and I felt better trusted than PSA. In retrospect I should had done quick opinion for $10. Save myself the extra $100 but never thought I got a fake.
I truly appreciate all your help in sharing your opinions.
Just a quick update.
PSA also thought it was fake. The original trader who sent me this fake never responded to my email after I sent them PSA’s authentication failure (which fortunately did not cost me any extra money but I won’t get to use the freebie I had on a different autograph I otherwise would had).