Making it real
Alarms were sounded -- again -- in the antiquarian book world recently about a new spate of forged Stephen King autographs. This isn't the first time someone has forged authors' signatures -- which add to the value of a book -- and it won't be the last. Mr. King's signature seems to be a favorite for forgers to try to duplicate.
At Printed Page, we've had our own experiences with forgers. A couple of years ago, one bought high-end books from a number of local booksellers, unsigned, and then offered them for sale online -- this time with forged signatures. He was exposed by a local bookseller who alerted the trade, and the forger vamoosed.
We once bought a photo of Humphrey Bogart that was signed in a felt-tip pen. Not only was the autograph clearly fake, but felt-tip pens came along some time after Humphrey went away.
We've heard of Tarzan books autographed by Cheetah, and Nancy Drew books autographed by the fictional Carolyn Keene. But our favorite experience came from a woman offering a copy of the Warren Commission Report autographed by President Kennedy. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Warren Commission Report, it was the findings of a team investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. (Perhaps the autograph came from a ghostwriter.)
Reputable booksellers -- and we count ourselves among them! -- will always be careful when buying autographed books. We do our best to determine the provenance of the book and to authenticate the signature, but we aren't infallible. However, we do guarantee that every book we sell is as we have described it, and if we're wrong, we offer a full refund, nothing fake about it.