I just recently acquired a Russian Red Star newspaper from 16 April 1961. From what I can tell the newspaper seems to be legit, however, the signature seems to be a pretty obvious fake. Every other Gagarin signature seems to nail the top of the "T" and it was also dated the day prior. (Don't worry, I only paid $20 since I was more interested in just having a period paper.) Can anyone lend any further analysis on the signature or maybe the value/legitimacy of the paper as a historical item by itself? Thanks!
Mr. Z. (lucky for us, a forum member) is to space-related autos as the Devil is the heat! The above Gagarin webpage looks like a fantastic study aid for comparison, having been compiled and notated by the best in the biz for this type of material.
The signature appears to be signed by Gagarin but it is a facsimile printed in the newspaper. While I would usually have to examine the original newspaper to determine whether or not it was actually signed in ink, in this case it is not necessary because the Gagarin signature is dated April 15, 1961, a day BEFORE the newspaper was published.
Leave it to those Russians to confuse and confound us! lol.
Great eyes, Herman. I never considered that a facsimile would be part of the print for the news story's picture!
Actually, if you mentally remove the "signature" from the article, there's a large space at the bottom. That would never be allowed to happen in a newspaper. The facsimile signature had to be printed with the article. --- Herman
Well spotted Herman!
As someone with layout experience, I have to disagree with the claim that it'd never be allowed to happen.
The spacing in that situation is determined by the picture. Their only options would have been to leave the white space at the end, crop the picture from the top or bottom, alter the dimensions & stretch the picture, or shrink the picture so that it's not flush with the margin. There's no real way, once you hit that stage, to add content.
Given those choices, I would have (and, in fact, when faced with similar problems, have) left the space at the end. It's obviously not ideal, but it's better looking than the alternatives.
Herman, is that actually Gagarin's signature in facsimile? Could it possibly be the author of the story? I just can't seem to put together "Yuri Gagarin" out of that track, not in English or in Russian.
From a quick peek it looks like some "official" preprint form of his signature. Herman will know.
Yep. That's it. Gagarin in Russian looks like 'ara' instead of "aga".
Just remember, that it is a facsimile of Gagarin's signature before he was asked for his autograph worldwide. He was unknown outside of those who knew he was going to make that flight. It appears he's written his first initial as well, something that never appears in his post-flight autograph.