I was reading around a few days ago and noticed a blog where the name Joe Long was mentioned. I wasn't familiar with it at all, and so started to do a little research and found that the story surrounding the man was fairly interesting.
As mentioned by Steve in an earlier blog, Joe Long was very trusted in the autograph community and it was a shock when he was outed as selling bad items. Apparently Long was first found out by Frank Caizzo when Long was selling forged Beatles items. Apparently Long would frequently mix the good with the bad to try and fool buyers.
I have found this very interesting and would like to know more if possible. Was Long only selling forgeries, or did he forge himself?? Was Long in business with anyone else?? Did Long sell other forged autographs besides the Bealtes?? What were some of the clues that a piece was sold by Joe Long? What story did Long give when he was caught?? Did he face any legal actions??? Does he still operate today??? Has their been any evidence recently that Joe Long has been supplying other dealers???
These are all questions i have and hope that those out their who know more about the man will chime in. Anytime i hear about really good forgers who fool alot of people, my ears perk up. It really does make for a good autograph story when you hear what happened from the beginning.
I would love to hear some of what Steve and Roger know about Joe Long and what all happened involving his business and the forgeries that were sold. Did he ever admit to selling the forgeries?? Any estimates on how much profit he made??
I couldnt find all that much information on him over the net, so i thought this would be a good thread to learn up on him if others are inclined to speak about what they know. Here is an image and description i took form Autograph alert truth. And i hope Roger wont mind.
Apparently this is from one of Joe Long's old catalogs. 2 of the 3 are genuine, and 1 is bad. And whoever forged these obviously had talent.
Roger also reported in his blog that Autograph Alert used to refer to Joe Long as "Mr. Clean". Did anyone else know him as this, or is this just another one of their lies? I imagine its nothing but garbage, b/c what forger would give himself a nickname, and especially not Mr. Clean. This isnt cloak and dagger stuff, its autograph forging, lol.
Anyway i would be very interested in any info anyone could provide. I find stuff like this very interesting.
Thanks for reading
There’s currently a set on eBay with a COA from Cordelia and Tom Platt.
They do appear to be Joe Long forgeries.
In the early 1990's I purchased several sets, upgrading with each one. I thought that I had found the last one that I would ever need when I found this one. After learning that it was a fake I returned it and received a full refund from the dealer. What really surprised me was several years later I found the second example shown while surfing the web. I would guess these were both signed at the same time. The forger used the same two pens but at least changed the name placement. Pretty amazing to come across two fake sets probably signed on pages from the same autograph book.
These are the best fakes I have ever seen. Did he do it all by himself with his own hand?
As far as I know, yes, Long signed them himself. Frank Caiazzo was the first one to call them out as forgeries, in the early 1990s. As I understand it, few believed it at first. It was before I was in the field.
Joe Long sold his fakes mixed in with real stuff. As Steve said..he was "outed" by Frank Caiazzo. Lots of people bought stuff from Joe Long...and didn't believe Frank when he told them the stuff they purchased was junk.Eventually the truth came out...but lots of folks spent lots of money...but by then...it was too late!!!
I am far from being a seasoned collector, with only a couple of years of interest in this field, but I wouldn't call them the "best fakes" I have ever seen. Too similarities in the sigs. P of Paul and R of Ringo, in the first set, for example.
I also wondered about this, but back then... w/o much computers, more printed catalogs, not so much scans... and hindsight...it's kind of like how Elmyr De Hory's forged Matisse's appeared in the 1950's (which sold to museums then) and how they look now - obvious fakes stuck in the 1950's and poor pastiche at best - not Matisse - not now that we have a much fuller picture of what Henri was actually up to. Today's forgeries, with all the new tech, are much more frightening at this time with transfers, mix and match salutations, placement alterations in just one name etc. SCARY!
Without all the tech.stuff...Joe Long did it all by hand!!!
Exactly, as Van Meegeren got away with faking Vermeer's in the 30's. Not today. I was saying that IMO those forgeries shown above would (should?) not fly as well or as far today, with the knowledge and tech stuff on the collectors side, to foil him. Volumes of exemplars might not have been as readily available in years past (1990's etc), not to everyone anyway, but those who did see volume, like the authenticators who caught him, noticed the trends. And I believe there is much more data generally available now (for both sides unfortunately)
There was almost no online catalogs or publications in the early 1990s when these were discovered, and they were sold starting about the mid-1980s, maybe earlier.