Do you ever add something to your collection that you are not totally sure of?

I've been thinking about this a bit and I hope it makes sense.  We do a lot of sharing of images here to get opinions about pieces we have or are seeking to acquire......and that's a great gift of this forum.  

Maybe this has been covered before, but I was wondering how folks feel about adding items to their collections that they are not at least pretty well totally sure of.  For instance, you get a killer autograph from one of your heroes but you do know there are some characteristics of it that are not typical.  Other opinions that you seek from here or elsewhere may be divided, or at least not unanimous.  Does something like this quietly gnaw at you a bit over time?  If it looks at least o.k. to your eyes but others have at the very least expressed some reservations, is that an issue that may grow in your mind over time?  Or is o.k. just not good enough?

Views: 176

Comment by Joe W. on October 30, 2021 at 10:02am

I am probably a bigger risk taker than most collectors. If it looks good to me and I am comfortable with the source I will take the plunge if the price is right. Most of the time I've come out fine but I've also made a number of mistakes as well. Win some. Lose some. Either way, the experience has made me a more educated collector.

Comment by Robin McKay on October 30, 2021 at 1:42pm

I’ve made a number of mistakes but it’s all a part of learning and hasn’t been overly detrimental. 

Comment by Phil on October 30, 2021 at 2:15pm

Ive a handful of autographs locked away that im probably certain are mistakes... I bought them years ago and didnt do any research and so sure ive been duped.. I cant bring myself to get them out of storage lol.. Maybe ill share them on here one day.. If i can stand the opinions lol

Comment by Etienne on October 30, 2021 at 4:34pm

Thanks Joe, Robin and Phil!

Comment by Etienne on October 30, 2021 at 4:40pm

I really do enjoy the challenge of researching a particular signer's habits. I can while away many hours doing that and I find it stimulating and enjoyable.

One thing I have come to realize over time however is that if I'm spending too much time and focus trying to "justify" the look of something... it's probably best to move on.

Comment by crazyrabbits23 on November 1, 2021 at 4:00am

The only factors I consider when I buy something signed are price, provenance and condition. Taken on their own, price is usually the deciding factor, and I'm far more willing to take the plunge on an item I'm not certain of if it's at $10 or less. Most of my collection is made up of thrift store buys that have allowed me to not only amass many examples of certain signature, but hone my knowledge of the characteristics of certain "eras" of the handful of authors I focus on.

On the Notepad list of signed books that I maintain, there's a section at the end that lists "unconfirmed" items whose authenticity I'm not sure of. They include a flat-signed copy of Bill Clinton's "Giving", the bookplate-signed copy of Hillary's "Hard Choices", a flat-signed book from Canadian gold magnate Peter Munk that was given out at his retirement, and a few other assorted titles that I keep in the "dubious" pile because there either isn't enough provenance, the item is associated with an individual who has a high degree of probability for fakes, or I need to contact the publisher to find out more information about the item (as I can't tell whether it's legit or autopen).

For instance, I have this:

A flat-signed copy of the German release of Bergman's "My Story". At the time I bought it, it was from a private collector (older woman) who was divesting her collection, and one of several items I bought from her, all with provenance or other supporting documentation. At the time I bought it, it cost me $5, and the only information she could tell me at the time was that it was apparently bought by a family member who was in Germany at the time of the book's release and bought it from a store (the only other supporting documentation was a news clipping about the German release of the book).

There's a high degree of certainty that it's autopen, but for the price, I simply couldn't resist, as it makes a fascinating conversation piece regardless. If I decide to part with it in the future, I will most likely add a note tucked into the book that it has a high degree of being autopen.

Just a glimpse into my thought process when it comes to buying certain items.

Comment by Etienne on November 1, 2021 at 8:26am

That's certainly a reasonable approach, crazyrabbits23 .

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