This week Kevin Keating of Quality Autographs has some really great items on our advance preview list and even more new acquisitions are listed on our websiteÂ http://www.qualityautographs.com.Â We’re certain the items listed below will go quickly.Â Be sure to contact us at 800-241-4809 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your finds early before they are advertised in the hobby press. Items include a Gabby Hartnett rare personal check, Gorgeous, incredibly rare, full-name ink signature, “Grover Cleveland Alexander” dated “4/12/49” in his hand, Miller Huggins signature on a receipt for 40 shares of stock, and much more.Â Check out all of the items now!
Kevin’s Weekly Collecting Tips & FAQ
(Continued Topic from last week)
How important is the provenance of an item?Â When authenticating an item, should you allow an item’s provenance to impact your conclusion about its authenticity?
Provenance can be very important.Â But when it comes to autographs, its more difficult to associate provenance with items, since most autographs lose their provenance over time as they change hands.Â Thus, the most important factor for an autograph is always whether or not the item can stand on its own merit.Â It’s also important to remember that provenance is really an associated ‘story’, which may or may not be accurate.Â When it comes to ‘provenance’ as it is applied to autograph material, I like to refer to it as “contextual evaluation.”
For example, you can make certain assumptions about something if you have the benefit of full contextual evaluation-that is, knowing where an item comes from and seeing it as part of its greater whole when something is not a solo piece but rather part of a larger collection. And that’s a benefit that one has when they look at a piece as part of a larger collection.Â When someone evaluates a piece without the benefit of its contextual evaluation-something that occurs when one evaluates a solo piece removed from its origins–they’re looking at the piece out of its original context.Â Without that additional information they may be more prone to make a mistake in their evaluation than if they had the benefit of contextual evaluation, that is, if they knew of the item’s origin and/or had seen the same piece as part of its original collection in the entirety of the collection.Â So, yes, it’s always great when an item stands on its own merit, independent of contextual evaluation, and an item should ideally stand on its own merit. But certainly provenance, or as I like to call it for autograph material, “contextual evaluation,” may be beneficial when you’re not particularly familiar with the person’s autograph you are evaluating, or if for any reason, an item is perplexing.
Remember, too, that forgers like to add “provenance” (stories) when they market their material, such as “My Dad got this Babe Ruth baseball signed and it’s been in my family ever since”Â So provenance is only a story in the end and may or may not be relevant to what you are looking at.Â Conversely, an autograph doesn’t need provenance to be authentic, either, and most autographs lose the provenance of their origins as they are bought and sold.Â
In short, I like to look at an item in full context when possible.Â When this is not possible and the item is isolated, it should ideally stand on its own merit.Â If I have a question about something I am evaluating because, for whatever reason, I am uncertain about its authenticity, then I might ask about any associated ‘provenance’ in an effort to add ‘contextual evaluation’ to what I am looking at.Â But when it comes to autograph material, ‘provenance’ is just a story that may or may not be relevant to a piece’s evaluation.
We welcome your comments or questions as well to post in future newsletters.
Thank you for choosing Quality Autographs as one of your premier sources for building your sports autograph collection and we look forward to hearing from you soon!