Yuri Gagarin, 1st in space, Autograph Study by Steve Zarelli

On April 12, 1961, Soviet Air Force pilot Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space. Launched aboard his Vostok spacecraft, Gagarin orbited the Earth and beat American Alan Shepard into space by 23 days. 

On March 27, 1968, Yuri Gagarin was killed in a training flight crash at the age of 34.

Despite not being as much of a "household name" as Alan Shepard, John Glenn or Neil Armstrong, Gagarin is a tremendous historical figure and there is strong demand for his signature. 

Yuri Gagarin signed autographs for approximately seven years before his death. Because of the short time frame, there is not a great deal of variation in his signing style over this period. Gagarin traveled widely after his flight and was reportedly a generous signer in-person and also responded to mail requests. That said, for someone who died behind the Iron Curtain 50 years ago, the number of alleged Gagarin autographs in circulation far surpass the numbers one would reasonably expect to exist.

Regrettably, his signature is highly forged and collectors must use great caution in obtaining a Yuri Gagarin signed item.

This is an abbreviated version of a study originally published on my website. For more examples and details, click here to see the full study from Zarelli Space Authentication.

Authentic Gagarin examples

Signed photo, 1961

Signed invitation, 1965

Signed book - 1966

Examples of Yuri Gagarin forgeries

Gagarin is highly forged on photos, documents, postal covers, postcards, etc. One forger in particular is responsible for many thousands of Gagarin forgeries over the past 20+ years. 

Mass-produced Gagarin forgery

Mass-produced forgeries on a fake document

Multi-signed cosmonaut photo with 100% fakes

Views: 695

Tags: Astronauts, Cosmonauts, Yuri Gagarin, Zarelli Space Authentication

Comment by Christopher Williams on March 4, 2017 at 1:35pm

Very informative, Steve.

Comment by Steve Zarelli on March 5, 2017 at 9:19am

Thanks, Chris... I appreciate it.

I know it's more of a 24/7 Star Wars / MJ / Beatles theme here lately, but hopefully some folks find it helpful. :-)

Comment by Pete Bendu on March 7, 2017 at 6:09am

Nothing impresses me more in this hobby. Someone who studies and puts in the hours to be the hands down leader in his field. Thanks Steve. When the day comes that I want a real Gagarin or Armstrong, I know who I will reach out to.  

Comment by Steve Zarelli on March 7, 2017 at 7:24am

Thanks, Pete! It would be my pleasure to help. :-)

Comment by Mark Saurin on March 18, 2017 at 5:21am

Many thanks Steve for sharing your many years of studying to this very informative site, l really do appreciate it bud, stored in my database....THANK YOU Steve

Comment by Steve Zarelli on March 18, 2017 at 7:10am
Thanks for the shout out, Mark. My pleasure.


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