10 Steps to Authenticate an Autograph

Historical autographs are considered to be one of the greatest pieces of memorabilia for every collector. However, they are also easily faked and duplicated.

When respected trademark shops say that their products are authentic, they are usually believed. They employ their skills and knowledge to carefully verify historical documents, ensuring that the autograph is genuine for themselves and their clients. Otherwise, their reputation and business can be in jeopardy.

Read on to discover the ten steps to authenticate an autograph.

Step 1: Get Some Proof

Unless there is cause to believe otherwise, many collectors assume that a signature is authentic. You should assume that the signature is falsified and prove otherwise. Authenticating a signature allows you to exclude irrelevant information and reach your own judgments.

Step 2: Find the Source

The next step in authenticating the autograph is to determine its provenance. Because you witnessed the signature being signed, in-person autograph signings have the highest provenance. Historical autographs and papers are ineffective. It is critical for verification that you have excellent, dependable proof of ownership from the original source to you.

Step 3: Check Out Other Samples

The bulk of published autographs involves authentic signature copies. These can be found on reputable websites, such as those of auction houses or museums, or in printed material, such as biographies and books, which may include images of personally autographed goods.

Step 4: Get All the Details

Paper production methods and materials have evolved over time, even before we consider paper sizes. If you're looking at autographs or documents that are said to be 250 years old, the paper will most likely be 9 x 12 or 9 x 14 inches in size. Because this was the same size as the folded document, the sheet was twice as big. Notepaper-sized sheets were prevalent by the middle of the nineteenth century. By 1900, standard stationery sizes were available.

Step 5: Look into the Handwriting

Forgers are professionals in fraudulent money-making opportunities. When comparing known authentic samples of a signature to newly discovered examples, it may be possible to determine its authenticity.

Step 6: Observe Its Appearance

Observe and trust your instincts. Even if the signatures are unreadable, they will be consistent and will not appear out of place. Slowly "drawn" autographs are almost certainly frauds.

Step 7: The Usage of an Autopen

An Autopen was used by famous people who signed a lot of autographs. The autopen replicates a signature by using a real pen and ink. They created several signature templates, and their secretary chose the best one to sign the letter.

Step 8: Get the Secretary’s Official Mark

Secretaries' signatures predate writing. Secretaries have traditionally signed legal documents, property awards, and personal letters for Kings, Presidents, and Prime Ministers, often with such proficiency that the difference is impossible to detect.

Step 9: Determine If It’s a Copy

Copies of famous historical documents are common in souvenir shops. They are appealing decorations for a home study that will not irritate anyone attempting to check their authenticity.

Some high-quality copies can cause issues. Photocopies, greetings, boilerplate letters, and other formats are all too ubiquitous.

Step 10: Consider Particular Elements

Specific criteria can be used to validate autographs. These are related to shifting tastes over time and can serve as a conclusion to your investigation. Some special or particular elements include handwriting styles, different signatures, price, quantity, and questionable authenticity.

Moreover, if the autograph has been properly framed, meticulously matted, and well-preserved in an album, the previous owner thought it to be genuine. This is not a guarantee of anything other than the fact that someone before you thought it was legitimate and may have been the first owner of the piece, getting it in person from the creators.


Any collector would be devastated to learn that their prized purchase is fraudulent. This is why it’s crucial for both sellers and buyers to authenticate the memorabilia they have, especially autographs. Once you know how to authenticate an autograph, you’ll never be fooled again.

Are you looking for authentic collectables? Superstars carries a wide range of unique memorabilia for you to own and celebrate. Browse our collection and shop our products today!