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As a long time Jimmy Stewart collector, I have dozens of authentic autographs in my collection. From checks to photos to a baseball, I treasure them all.
However, one key piece has eluded me - that is a signed photo from It's a Wonderful Life.
Jimmy Stewart was a generous signer and there is a good supply of authentically signed Stewart items readily available. As of now, there are approximately 420 James Stewart signed items on eBay from almost every movie he appeared in, except, perhaps his most popular -- It's a Wonderful Life.
So, what is the problem with It's a Wonderful Life?
Perhaps It's a Wonderful Life photos were not readily available from the photo suppliers in the period when Stewart was signing generously through the mail. That is speculation, it is a mystery to me.
But what is undeniable is that IAWL poses are exceeding uncommon in authentic form. You will find many IAWL poses allegedly signed by Stewart, but in my opinion, the vast majority are suspect and to be avoided. At this time, of the approximately 420 signed James Stewart items on eBay, there is not one IAWL example I believe is authentic.
Here are some examples of signatures on IAWL poses I consider suspect at best.
Here are some other suspect examples.
If you are in the market to add a IAWL signed photo to your collection this holiday season, I advise great caution. Chances are that IAWL signed photo belongs in a stocking with lumps of black coal!