Hey everyone,

I am brand new here. I was offered this Marilyn Monroe  photo by a friend and I thought we should probably ask around to see whether it is authentic. 

What do you all think?


There are things that don't match up to the usual looking MM signature, but the hand seems close. 

The photo was taken in 1957. I am not sure when it was printed. 

Thanks for any wisdom you have to share. :) 

Tags: Marilyn, Monroe

Views: 488

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Olivia and Welcome to the group, in particular the Marilyn Monroe Forum.

Sorry to say this is not authentic. Although Marilyn signed with her capital Ms like this up until around 1948, it is still not her hand. See an example here: 

So the photo is from a full ten years after she signed like this and is by her friend/photographer Sam Shaw.  It is an informal photo taken at a picnic with her close friends - that would not be sent out by a studio. Very unlikely to be on hand for signing too. I'm not sure these photos even appeared before her death as they were included in posthumous books as an exclusive collection by Sam Shaw. 

I always like seeing what people get up to trying to make a sale. I am impressed with the study of her hand-writing by the author, albeit the wrong period.  But the execution, like all other forgeries, falls short (not spidery enough - that sure is a "fat y" in Marilyn, other problems too). Certainly not the worst forgery I have ever seen though. 

By 1957 her signature resembled this not at all. Have a look at my blog, it's a time line, which really helps to place her signature at some point in her life.  


I wish the news was better, but . . . . . 

I appreciate the information, Pauline.

I firmly believe we often see what we want to see and not what actually is in front of us. Your eyes know better.

Thank you. I will let me friend know. 



Hi again Pauline, 

As it turns out, there is a COA to go with this photo. It is interesting that they have specified the date and location. See the link:


Kind regards,


This is when the photo was taken, 1957, her New York period - but I have never seen an autograph like this. This is a typical auto from that period:

1958 To the Doorman Ritz Carlton

Occasionally Marilyn printed her M, as to as close friend, as to Ralph her masseuse on a postcard here - still it is different to the Ms on your autograph;

Dear Ralph, 1962 M

It would be interesting to get an opinion from others on here who know other autographs that the COA supplier is selling. This seems to be an operating company with autographs for sale, perhaps someone on here knows this company? I have not heard of it. 


I try to give the benefit of the doubt when I see MM autographs on here, but this is clearly meant to deceive. However the forger made a mistake copying such an early version of her signature. Even if the photo were the right period it still isn't accurate to an early signature.

Something else to look for is the baseline in her autographs. There is a fairly flat baseline running under the not real signature. Her real autograph has a "bridge" shape, sometimes 2 in the Marilyn alone, usually more like two mezzanine floors actually, or just one "bridge". Then there is a bridge in the the Monroe too - or sometimes flattish but the M so exaggerated it makes something of a bridge., but usually a bridge shape. It's something forgers miss. This is an admirable attempt though! 

Most COA's are not worth much, it is just some stranger's word. There are some well known COA suppliers who have a solid reputation though.  Ask around on here about that.

Best of luck, I hope your friend took the news ok.

But please feel free to get another opinion on here. I am hoping someone else from this site will stop by and add theirs?

The Liz Taylor looks bad. Others can speak to the Michael Jackson. Everything is "up for grabs" at very low prices - that is rarely a good sign.

The "Audrey Hepburn" doesn't look very good...

Everything on special sale...everything is attached to a "Diamante backboard" to make it "unique" - forgive my ignorance but what is this board and why is everything affixed to it?

Stan Laurel and Natalie Wood appear on the same paper type and signed with the same nib?

Ah. Bela Lugosi for 189 GBP forgery in my opinion...same nib again it seems.

The comic book "signed" by "Bela Lugosi" was printed 8 years after Lugosi died. Scroll down in the second link to see exact page.

"Lugosi" signed 1964 Comic Page from Autograph Star

1964 Comic

I noticed the very "reasonable"prices on there. They have a dedicated in house signing team I guess. 

Thanks again, Pauline.

It would be great to read from other too.

My friend is pretty sure she has a genuine signature but I have stressed that she would benefit tremendously from professional opinions on the matter. 

Not in favour of authenticity is that the signature is hot how MM usually signed her name at the time the photo was taken, the usual variability of her hand, and questions about the availability of this photo at the time of the signing and for that matter, whether this would have been the photo selected for a signing. 

Working in favour is that the writing (from my eye) is a lot like her writing at this time,  no hesitation that I can see, there is a COA, the signature is an old style but very similar to the old one, and as yet, I haven't found any forgeries that look the same.

It is also probably worth mentioning that the autographed photo is in a trove of photographer stamped vintage and later prints. 



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