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Many years ago, I considered collecting the autographs of who I consider to be Gentlemen of Horror.  Many autograph collectors work on autograph projects that satisfy their interests.  Baseball fans collect the autographs of Hall of Famers.  Those who appreciate history collect the autographs of Presidents of the United States.  Fans of Hollywood collect the autographs of Oscar winners.  My list would not be as lengthy.  It would include only six names.

My plan was to begin with the autographs that were relatively easy to acquire, and to end with the autographs that were more difficult to acquire.  Christopher Lee’s autograph was relatively easy to acquire, particularly since he had recently appeared in The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars films.  Vincent Price’s autograph was also relatively easy to acquire.  I had seen a Vincent Price signed check being sold in a local comic shop.  I eventually purchased an autographed photo from the film The Fly instead.  The autographs of the four remaining Gentlemen of Horror have yet to be achieved.

I completely expected a Lon Chaney autograph to be very difficult and expensive to acquire.  My browsing proved my expectation to be accurate.  Peter Cushing’s autograph, however, was not difficult to locate, and was more affordable.  I simply never got around to purchasing one.  This is strange, considering my interest in Star Wars.  Boris Karloff’s autograph was also relatively easy to acquire.  Bela Lugosi’s autograph, however, was much more difficult.  I neglected to purchase those as well.

Lon Chaney was a true Gentleman of Horror.  His autograph could be the cornerstone of a proud autograph collection.

I regret not achieving my goal of collecting the autographs of these six Gentlemen of Horror.  I suppose that as autograph collectors, we all fall short of our goals occasionally.

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Comment by Joe W. on October 26, 2021 at 2:05pm

I've been fortunate to achieve many of my goals but there are still more to accomplish. Most of the time it's not because I can't find the autograph but it's due to the cost factor. 

There is one goal that I would like to find a way to achieve. It's not about the cost but the opportunity. I own a 16x20 of Mark Hamill in a struggle with Dave Prowse. Prowse has signed it but not Hamill. I even tried sending the photo to Mark's son's house. It was returned unsigned. 

Hopefully, Mark will do a private signing and I will taste success!

Comment by Mike Shepherd on October 26, 2021 at 5:32pm

I hope that you are able to add Mark Hamill’s autograph to your David Prowse autographed photo one day, Joe W.  May the Force be with you!

Comment by Nick Dimeo on October 26, 2021 at 5:41pm

I would love to own a Lon Sr., I have actually had the opportunity to purchase one but it wasn’t on my radar at that time. I do know that Classic Entertainment Autographs gets them in on occasion and they are a reasonable price. I personally would add an obscure name to your list, Conrad Veidt. 

Comment by Mike Shepherd on October 27, 2021 at 2:38am

Thanks for the information and suggestion, Nick.

Comment by Eddy on October 29, 2021 at 3:30pm

Nice post, Mike. 

I've had the good fortune of having many of my goals met.  Unfortunately, without deep pockets, I've had to do a lot selling and horse trading over the years....letting go of something great to acquire something else that comes along that I need resources for.   Part of the fun of that has been to, at least somewhat temporarily, have had before me some pretty sensational pieces.

Plus, interests change over time.  I have met some great folks along the way in this flow of buying, selling and trading!

Comment by Mike Shepherd on October 29, 2021 at 5:58pm

I completely agree about interests changing over time, Etienne.  I frequently go through phases of autograph collecting myself, and I coincidentally wrote a blog about it last October.  Thanks for the comment.

Autograph Subdivisions

Comment by ABlackmore on October 30, 2021 at 5:11pm

Here in Brazil, we had an icon in cheap horror movies. Zé do Caixão. I was approached this week to help the person who purchased 2 subscriptions from him.

Comment by ABlackmore on October 30, 2021 at 5:12pm

Comment by Mike Shepherd on October 31, 2021 at 3:33am

Very cool.  Thanks for sharing.

Comment by crazyrabbits23 on November 1, 2021 at 3:46am

The nature of my collecting has certainly changed over the years, though I've been fortunate in that I've completed most of my past grail goals.

For a period of time when I started collecting, I would snap up everything and anything signed -- music, literature, sports, you name it. Then, I got into the habit of pruning my collection every six-to-nine months -- I'd go through what I had (about 250 autos) and take out a bag full of signed books, most of which were cheaply-acquired items that I recognized either had no resale value, were from no-name authors, or from works I could bear to part with because I'd read them and wanted someone else to enjoy them.

As mentioned in another topic, the only white whale item I pursued for years was a signed Pierre Trudeau (Canadian Prime Minister) book... but that was a "goal I unintentionally met" when I managed to snag an absurdly-limited copy of the last book he was a co-author on for a song, and didn't realize the true value of what I had for months after the fact.

Most of the modern "grails" I've picked up over the past year (David Gilmour "Theatre for Dreamers", Ingrid Bergman's "My Story", 1st printing of Lawrence Hill's "The Book of Negroes" [association copy]) were books I had a tangential knowledge of and wanted to acquire, and was able to get them by buying from overseas sellers or random thrift store buys. I'm slowly refining my collecting focus towards more high-end titles from Hollywood stars and a scant few Canadian authors.


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