I was recently looking through my Lord of the Rings autograph collection when something occurred to me.  Flipping through the pages of my ProFolio, I noticed that many of the autographs are terribly sloppy.  Unfortunately for autograph collectors, the more rare the signer is, the more sloppy the autograph is likely to be.

Viggo Mortensen’s autograph is not only rare, it is also very sloppy.  As autograph collectors, we take what we can get.

Does it matter?  The 8x10 photographs present beautifully, and I am certain that the autographs are authentic.  The celebrities definitely touched Sharpie to photograph.  I suppose that we autograph collectors take what we can get, particularly when collecting difficult autographs to acquire.

What are some of the more sloppy autographs in your autograph collection, and how bothered are you about them?

Views: 130

Comment by Cogo on January 17, 2023 at 7:32pm

I don’t have a pic of it anymore and it is since long sold, but I had a VERY sloppy signed Paul McCartney photo in my collection a couple of years ago.

Was it pretty? No! But it came from one of the best in-person collectors there is and given my small budget I was at the moment still extremly happy to even have a Macca in my collection. 

I have later owned better examples and honestly enjoyed them even more (so how a graph looks is important for me) but then and there the sloppy  Macca was the best I could own and I was very pleased then! 

Comment by Mike Shepherd on January 18, 2023 at 8:21am

Very nice.  Thanks for sharing your story, Cogo.

Comment by Bjarne Soderholm on January 18, 2023 at 9:43am

I actually got Viggo thru the mail when he was filming the Lord of the Ring trilogy in New Zealand back in the days.

The funny thing was that he signed a small piece of cardboard and sent it to me. Still have it in my collection.

Comment by Scott Paul on January 18, 2023 at 10:05am

Great topic Mike.  I am not sure this qualifies but is one of the few autographs I have that fits.  It actually is not a bad signature and is certainly more identifiable than most modern signatures.  Byron Morrow was a great character actor who was born in 1911 and died in 2006.  This is from an ANS and a very rare example where he prints out his name below his signature.  I have a contract signed by him the same way.  I collect classic entertainment so most of the autographs I have are legible.  

This topic raises the question how can anyone be certain of someone like Al Pacino who signs so many different ways mostly just a line or kind of a letter.  I think you need to be very certain of the in-person collector and have them photocopy and notarize a statement when and where it was obtained.  

I have noticed a lot of modern autographs appear to be just initials.  If legible I suppose it is better than a scribble.  A few only sign a first name. I do have a few first name only autographs though in all cases I have another item with a full name.   Like everything collectors have varying degrees of tolerance for what they want in an autograph. 

Comment by Mike Shepherd on January 18, 2023 at 10:27am

That is so typical of Viggo’s personality, Bjarne.  Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Mike Shepherd on January 18, 2023 at 10:37am

Nice Byron Morrow autograph, Scott Paul.  I agree that trusting the seller is crucial to collecting in-person autographs.  Many in-person autographs are indeed only initials.  Thanks for the comment.  I am glad that you like the topic.

Comment by BC on January 20, 2023 at 5:35pm

After he won the 2015 Masters, Jordan Spieth became a god in the sports world and his autograph demand went way up. I was going to a golf tournament a couple months after he won, so I planned on getting my flag signed by him for my collection. Normally, his signature was pretty decent, but because demand was high and he tried to take care of so many, it got sloppy at times. Well he signed my pretty crappy and I wasn't happy. So I said screw it, I'll ask him to fix it. I found him later on and did just that. He ended up signing it twice, instead of fixing what he already signed, but I'll take it.

Comment by Mike Shepherd on January 20, 2023 at 7:43pm

Great story, BC.  That is a very unique piece that you have accomplished.

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