Authenticating Harrison Ford

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OK, so I've received a PM or 6 and at least that many emails in the last day or 2 asking who I am and how I go about authenticating Harrison Ford autographs .... so here ya go.

Bendu is just a username based on a phrase from the old Journal of the Whills Star Wars script. My name is Pete Chuka and I've been collecting autographs since 1979. Star Wars autograph collectors have known me for years, long before the internet and before this great message board we all live at. My knowledge in this field was enough that other collectors and SW associations have asked me to be present on SW autograph panels at conventions more than once. I wanted to post this to be crystal clear about who I am and what I do know. Hopefully this information will help you to move to a point where I am no longer needed.

A few major things I have noticed after years of watching Harrison sign and keeping scans of hundreds of Fords signed inperson and in sit down settings.

Everything here is information I have compiled after years of seeing the man sign his name. Keep in mind that all of this information in the wrong hands will only go to help the forgers, so use it wisely and study the good samples you have saved during your time collecting.

On the streets it is "get what you can".....Never are 2 pieces, signed one after another, going to look alike.

In a sit down signing everything flows smoothly, no sharp & choppy ups and downs....no deep valleys between letters, and like a machine one after another they can be so similar it is scary.

Placement....
If Harrison is not angling the photo to sign in a flashlight beam or in a light spot on the image, 95% of the time the signature will be arrow straight, from left to right, not angled upward or tipped. He will in fact turn a photo and sign sideways in order to sign in a straight line.


This does not count on inperson signings as he is rarely holding the photo and has no control of how the fan is holding the image. Most inperson signings are angled upward or downward based entirely on the situation and how the fan is holding the item.

Signature Layout & Form...
You can actually trace the pen movements in nearly every nicely signed autograph. You can see where each line on paper stops and see where the pen lifts and then restarts the next line....usually in a perfect line with the last point of pen on paper. From the first line of the H to the second H line. From the last letter in Harrison to the top of the F. From the end of the loop in the base of the F to the cross bar.
You can follow every movement of his pen smoothly.
The Official Pix signatures show this perfectly, and nice inperson graphs like our friend Hector's are also perfect examples of the smooth flow.


Depending on the point of the marker he is using, his cross bar of the F that goes on to form the ORD starts from down low hooks upward and then down into the next letter.....on most occasions you can see the point where pen touches the paper or where the bar starts and moves upward (a tiny little hook at the beginning) Once a marker point has "squashed down" that point disappears and you get a straight bar cutting across the F.


In-Person....
Harrison is a generous signer (at times) in the streets for his fans, but so many factors involved can certainly turn the situation and the autograph ugly. Is he rushed? Is his security there? Is Callista there? Is there a barricade? Is he being crowded, bumped and pushed? Are the fans pushing you as you hold the item? Has he been drinking? All of these factors matter.

The standards for Harrison's autograph while he is sitting down and signing an item,...... get tossed out the window in the streets.



Authentication....
These are the things I look at when I make a statement about the authenticity of a Ford autograph. I can easily use the Authentication service's standard quote about this being an opinion, and blah blah so that I can avoid lawsuits and headaches, but I have never charged for my information on a Ford autograph. I do it for my friends. It doesn't matter if it's a seasoned collector, a newbie, or a well established and respected dealer. In the past few weeks I have responded to questions from all of the above at least a dozen times.

I have hundreds if not thousands of authentic samples that I use to verify Harrison's autograph and I never take it for granted, that something I say might upset someone. I wouldn't say it if I didn't know it to be true.

I don't handle authentication like the big companies. I don't do sports, or presidents, or astronauts, no royalty, no inventors, no historical graphs, no military, and no art & literature. I leave that to people with the proper experience in the fields they enjoy and study. More power to them,

I do authenticate Harrison Ford, Star Wars and select modern Hollywood Movies and TV shows autographs....that's it.

If you have any questions or concerns please let me know right here in this thread or send a PM.

Please remember the minute I post this, it's a whole new game....you the collectors have the knowledge but so do the guys trying to steal your money.
 
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Hi Bendu


That is some great info for helping everyone authenticate Harrison Ford auto's but as you say it means everyone has this now
. Wonder if wee will see a surge of counterfeits or maybe just more realistic ones that will be harder to distinguish as a result.

Joe
 
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Thanks for the info Pete. I am definitely going to hang onto this if I need to pick up a Ford from a source that I don't know well.

Although now you have me a little scared about one of my sigs
 
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I'm taking this opportunity to express how grateful i am we have Pete on these boards.

Not only is he keen to share his expertise but he is also a great support when giving advice as to how you can approach an artist. He's been VERY open and available when I needed help on this and i'll never thank him enough for that.

Now, there is also something you might not know : Pete is also one of the most generous persons i've met on these boards. He's not in here by financial interest (although his items have a price but then again - why shouldn't they ?) but a true and dedicated fan.

I'm working on a special Indiana Jones piece (not done yet. Gathering more funds for the frame job)and let's just say that : without pete, this would NOT have been possible. Pure and simple.

Thanks again mate, and if I can be of any help to you, you can count on me.
 
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O.K I am trying to follow this in my following graphs which are official(sit down signings) I see some of the things you are talking about.


However in my unofficial ones the graphs seem all over and some lacking the cross bars completely. Is this due to these signings being in the street so everything gets thrown out. If so since most forgeries are considred in the street graphs what do you look for in these or is basically just based on source?


With Ford being my focus I am really tring to get a grasp on this - I my just have to stick with official signings from here on out though as I really get overwhelmed with all the info and just don't want to end up with fake Fords.
 
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If you are not getting him yourself, knowing the source is probably the most important thing. If you do not have 100% faith in your supplier ....do not buy it.

The signatures he signs in the streets, if you had the opportunity to see Hector's video of that night in Chicago, you will see that he doesn't even watch what his hand is doing during the actual signing, he is looking at the next person to be sure he didn't already sign for them, and picking out where to put the pen next to start the next signature....and he does this over and over again in a crowd.

There are occasions where he never takes the pen away from the item being signed.... and the first line of the H runs right into the second, and the end of Harrison runs right to the top of Ford, then the loop at bottom of the F runs right into the ORD.
Like this one where the end of Harrison goes right to the Ford and there is no break after the F at all.

Any or all of these can happen. Or he can just scribble on your item...like Rich showed you all recently.

His mood, the day, the crowd, the given situation.....all could change the whole game.
 
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For reference, here is the autograph Mr. Ford signed for me in January (video above). I've never seen an 'H' like this one in any of his sit-down signings. That may just be my own limited experience with Fords, though.



 
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While we are on the subject of Ford...

Here's a video of the signing I was at in Paris last february :

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xci5ng_harrison-ford_shortfilms

It's a good one : we went in orderly fashion (sort of) no rush or maybe just a tad. Anyway.

As I was fairly near the start of the line, when I got my first item signed I cut the line a first time. My 2nd item got signed too. Then I got to the end for a 3rd item. You can see it clearly at the end of the video : this is a cardboard with 3 trading cards on it. These cards belong to a fellow scummer. It didn't get signed.

For months I wondered why he didn't sign these. My first guess was that he didn't want to sign 3 items at a time for 1 person. Then I heard that a guy wearing the same coat as I did was refused his signature later that day, Ford saying "you've had enough already". That's my 2nd hypothesis. I have a 3rd one : it was the end of the line, he was tired of signing.

Was do you guys think ?
 
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That set up with 3 cards on a board is not the best idea. You have to look at it like he is...just another photo..... if he had signed it, he would likely sign it as one 8x10 right across the white area or across the cards and backer.

He recognizes photos and posters as things to sign.....all those flashbulbs going off, he might have just chose to skip that because he didn't recognize what it was.
 
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Hector_X_Cruz said:
This is a fantastic service you've provided the community here, Pete. Kudos! A great repository of information for all of us.

Here's a link to the video of Harrison signing that night in Chicago. Skip to the 55 second mark for the autograph portion. Just try to ignore my fanboy gushing.


http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1525492091&v=photos#!/video/video.php?v=253225954915&subj=851384915&oid=265487504752


WHATTTTT!?!??!!? Where was Harrison doing a signing in Chicago?!??!! (I can't access that video to see). And then someone else went to a signing with him where he was doing a sit-down and signing?!?!? He is my absolute holy grail when it comes to autographs and I can't believe I missed him here in Chicago, especially since I live here!
 
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Great thread Pete
Very informative,and a great guide for novice and seasoned collectors alike


Ive gotta stick my gorgeous piece in here:



Another variation-but one where his hand didnt leave the photo
 
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Just like Hector's sample above and a few from my original post ..... these scans where you can trace the actual movement of his hand, are fantastic!

Once you burn these images into your mind...you will know what to expect when looking at a Ford graph. Whether his pen leaves the paper or not....the ability to trace one line to the next, nice and smooth.... it is always there.

Lee, thanks for posting this one....another great learning graph!
 
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Nice informative post Pete... I have to agree, studying one persons sig enough, you see where the forger makes mistakes..because they will be repeated over and over.
Love that solos Hector and Lee
 
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Thank you so very much for posting this, very informative. This will help in getting a genuine signature.
 
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solo2.JPG
Here is mine from 1992, when he was filming Patriot Games at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles.
 
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