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mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 01:32 PM
I'm feeling philosophical.

Anyone care to define the term "autograph"?

David Atkatz
05-09-2012, 01:38 PM
From the OED:
autograph (auto|graph)

Pronunciation: /ˈɔːtəgrɑːf/
noun

*
1a signature, especially that of a celebrity written as a memento for an admirer: fans surged around the car asking for autographs

*
2a manuscript or musical score in an authorís or musicianís own handwriting: the earliest version of the work is possibly an autograph
*
[mass noun] a personís handwriting: a songbook in Purcellís autograph

verb
[with object]

*
write oneís signature on (something); sign: the whole team autographed a shirt for him (as adjective autographed) an autographed photo

adjective

*
written in the authorís own handwriting: an autograph manuscript
*
(of a painting or sculpture) done by the artist, not by a copier: five of the drawings are accepted as autograph

Derivatives

autographic
Pronunciation: /-ˈgrafɪk/
adjective

Origin:early 17th century: from French autographe or late Latin autographum, from Greek autographon, neuter of autographos 'written with one's own hand', from autos 'self' + graphos 'written'

mr2686
05-09-2012, 01:41 PM
An autograph refers to a person's artistic signature.
A famous autograph refers to a signature that's probably been forged again and again by CC. ;)

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 01:41 PM
Good start. OK, so how important is this,

"especially that of a celebrity written as a memento for an admirer"

as opposed to the less-purpose-specific verb definition given

"write oneís signature on (something)"?

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 01:41 PM
An autograph refers to a person's artistic signature.
A famous autograph refers to a signature that's probably been forged again and again by CC. ;)

Must it be artistic?

mr2686
05-09-2012, 01:43 PM
Everyone has their own flare about their signature so I'd say they are all naturally artistic.

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 01:44 PM
Everyone has their own flare about their signature so I'd say they are all naturally artistic.

But does the purpose of writing it matter?

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 02:24 PM
To illustrate my question, is this an autograph?

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff105/mighty-bombjack/HOF%20autos%20NFT/Roush.jpg

The question of artistry is a subjective one, though this does at least resemble his autograph given to admirers.

On the other hand, it does not seem to fit the primary OED definition given above (although "especially" is a handy qualifier)...

drc
05-09-2012, 02:31 PM
It's what Toyota uses to chart sales.

The Rousch name is half cursive, so at at least it's close.

I agree there is definitional gray area because of the way it was used, but if I had to pick what it is a) or b) I'd call it Rousch's signature/autograph. In part because it resembles his normal autograph on a baseball or photo. At the least, I wouldn't have a problem if a seller called in an autograph.

Though he wrote the entire address in cursive, and perhaps everything else he wrote, so I could understand someone say it's not his real autograph.

I think it's getting a little technical here.

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 02:50 PM
Yes! The definitional gray areas are what I want to discuss.

More to come.

Anyone, please post any "gray" examples of autos that you have seen!

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 02:53 PM
I found this one that I remember being very controversial. Most accepted that the Washington here was written by our first president, but can you call it an autograph? A signature? If not, what do you call it, and what is it worth compared to a beautiful, unquestionable autograph?

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff105/mighty-bombjack/zzz/2011mar16_3l1.jpg

drc
05-09-2012, 02:58 PM
If Rousch had printed out the letters in his name, instead of using cursive, I would not have called it his autograph. So the Rousch is an interesting example due to his cursive addiction. Visually it's his autograph, but technically it is not.

David Atkatz
05-09-2012, 03:14 PM
An "autograph" is anything written in the person's own hand. It does not have to be (or contain) a signature. Hence the autographic designations:

A.L. Autograph Letter (letter in the person's hand, no signature)
A.L.S. Autograph Letter Signed (letter in the person's hand, with signature)
A.D. Autograph Document (document in the person's hand, no signature)
A.D.S. Autograph Document Signed (document in the person's hand, with signature)
A.M. Autograph Manuscript (manuscript in the person's hand, no signature)
A.M.S. Autograph Manuscript Signed (Manuscript in the person's hand, with signature)

That return address cut is at least an A.D., and some would call it an A.D.S. That Washington cut is a piece of an A.D.

Scott Garner
05-09-2012, 03:42 PM
Must it be artistic?

If artistic is part of the definition, that would eliminate 99% of all current baseball players, FWIW. :rolleyes:

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 03:51 PM
An "autograph" is anything written in the person's own hand. It does not have to be (or contain) a signature. Hence the autographic designations:

A.L. Autograph Letter (letter in the person's hand, no signature)
A.L.S. Autograph Letter Signed (letter in the person's hand, with signature)
A.D. Autograph Document (document in the person's hand, no signature)
A.D.S. Autograph Document Signed (document in the person's hand, with signature)
A.M. Autograph Manuscript (manuscript in the person's hand, no signature)
A.M.S. Autograph Manuscript Signed (Manuscript in the person's hand, with signature)

That return address cut is at least an A.D., and some would call it an A.D.S. That Washington cut is a piece of an A.D.


Interesting. Where did you find this?

What about initials? I don't know the legal difference as to why I have to initial certin parts of a document and then sign my full name at the end, but are intitials an autograph?

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 03:54 PM
How about these MacPhails? The first is obviously a letter, and the second is an inscription in a book.

Autographs, or no?

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff105/mighty-bombjack/HOF%20autos%20NFT/MacoPhail.jpg
http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff105/mighty-bombjack/HOF%20autos%20NFT/MacPhail.jpg

David Atkatz
05-09-2012, 04:29 PM
Interesting. Where did you find this?these are standard terms. They've been in use by autograph collectors and dealers for well over 150 years. There are many others; e.g.,

D.S. Document Signed (document in hand of another, or printed, but signed by person in question.)
L.S. Letter Signed (letter in hand of another, signed by person in question.)
T.L.S. Typed Letter Signed
I.S.P. Inscribed Photo Signed

etc.

Exhibitman
05-09-2012, 06:22 PM
Or the ever-popular Roach's Corner version: "P.O.S."

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 08:40 PM
I'm sure many of you saw this Addie Joss postcard in the last oldjudge auction. Here is an example (if authentic) of a player writing his last name in reference to his son. In any way an autograph?

http://www.oldjudge.com/auction/autographed-post-cards/235/

David Atkatz
05-09-2012, 08:45 PM
I don't mean to sound too harsh, but have you been listening? "Autograph" is not synonymous with "signature."

Yes, the postcard is an autograph of Joss.

Scott Garner
05-09-2012, 09:12 PM
I don't mean to sound too harsh, but have you been listening? "Autograph" is not synonymous with "signature."

Yes, the postcard is an autograph of Joss.

Wow, I never saw this auction. This is absolutely the real deal. Fulton St. was Addie Joss' residence in Toledo in 1907. What a scarce and tremendous piece! Thanks for posting this... :eek:

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 09:50 PM
I don't mean to sound too harsh, but have you been listening? "Autograph" is not synonymous with "signature."

Yes, the postcard is an autograph of Joss.

You don't sound harsh. However, I am more interested in opinions, a la what someone who collects would accept in their collection.

I do have to ask, by your standard, anything written in someone's hand is their autograph? They don't even have to write their name?

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 09:52 PM
Wow, I never saw this auction. This is absolutely the real deal. Fulton St. was Addie Joss' residence in Toledo in 1907. What a scarce and tremendous piece! Thanks for posting this... :eek:

Yeah, I thought about going after it, but had no idea it would break 10K.

Mr. Zipper
05-09-2012, 10:28 PM
You don't sound harsh. However, I am more interested in opinions, a la what someone who collects would accept in their collection.

I do have to ask, by your standard, anything written in someone's hand is their autograph? They don't even have to write their name?

In my view, any form of someone writing their name could be seen as an autograph. It could be block letters, script... Whatever. The key is they are identifying themselves.

The Joss item in my view is not an autograph. Writing someone else's name -- even if part of it coincides with your own -- is not an autograph IMO.

I would gladly take the joss item to own his writing, but I don't think I could fool myself into thinking it was his autograph.

David Atkatz
05-09-2012, 11:23 PM
I do have to ask, by your standard, anything written in someone's hand is their autograph? They don't even have to write their name?None of what I posted is "my view." They are the long-accepted (probably 200 years or so) standards of autograph dealers and collectors.

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 11:29 PM
In my view, any form of someone writing their name could be seen as an autograph. It could be block letters, script... Whatever. The key is they are identifying themselves.

The Joss item in my view is not an autograph. Writing someone else's name -- even if part of it coincides with your own -- is not an autograph IMO.

I would gladly take the joss item to own his writing, but I don't think I could fool myself into thinking it was his autograph.

I think a lot of people agree with you.

I wish I had the photo, but there was an auction a few years ago that had a note from Tris Speaker to his wife. He didn't sign it, but he did write "Mrs. Tris Speaker" on the verso so that a messenger knew the intended receiver. The script looked like any Speaker auto I've ever seen (he had beautiful penmanship), but that little "Mrs." in front of it made me contemplate whether this was an autograph or not. He was not technically writing his own name, but if someone were to make a simple cut, there would be no way to know that.

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 11:30 PM
None of what I posted is "my view." They are the long-accepted (probably 200 years or so) standards of autograph dealers and collectors.

Yet there are many thing you have listed that many (most?) autograph collectors wouldn't collect. I guess we should call ourselves signature collectors?

David Atkatz
05-09-2012, 11:30 PM
The Joss item in my view is not an autograph. Writing someone else's name -- even if part of it coincides with your own -- is not an autograph IMO.I'll try again. The long-accepted definition of autograph is not simply a person's signature. The Joss is technically an A.D.--an Autograph Document, and would be advertised as such in a professional historical autograph dealer's catalog. It is a document written in Joss' hand. If he had signed his name on it as well, it would be an A.D.S.--an Autograph Document Signed. You, personally, may not want an A.D. in your collection, preferring something containing a signature, but the postcard is an autograph nonetheless.

mighty bombjack
05-09-2012, 11:32 PM
I'll try again. The long-accepted definition of autograph is not simply a person's signature. The Joss is technically an A.D.--an Autograph Document, and would be advertised as such in a professional historical autograph dealer's catalog. It is a document written in Joss' hand. If he had signed his name on it as well, it would be an A.D.S.--an Autograph Document Signed. You. personally may not want an A.D. in your collection, preferring something containing a signature, but the postcard is an autograph nonetheless.

It seems that autograph=handwriting, no?

David Atkatz
05-09-2012, 11:43 PM
Yet there are many thing you have listed that many (most?) autograph collectors wouldn't collect.What? Most historical autograph dealers--and there have been quite a few famous ones in the last 150 years--did not, and do not, consider sports autograph collecting, or the collecting of signatures of "celebrities" to be autograph collecting at all.

During WWII, a particular A.M. (Autograph Manuscript--no signature) sold for more than $1 million. It was a copy of the Gettysburg Address, in Lincoln's hand.

Would you want a copy of Lou Gehrig's farewell speech, in his own hand, in your autograph collection? Or would you feel it didn't belong there because it wasn't signed?

thenavarro
05-10-2012, 12:00 AM
I agree with what David has posted concerning what an autograph is. He's right on the mark.

Mike

mighty bombjack
05-10-2012, 12:41 AM
What? Most historical autograph dealers--and there have been quite a few famous ones in the last 150 years--did not, and do not, consider sports autograph collecting, or the collecting of signatures of "celebrities" to be autograph collecting at all.

During WWII, a particular A.M. (Autograph Manuscript--no signature) sold for more than $1 million. It was a copy of the Gettysburg Address, in Lincoln's hand.

Would you want a copy of Lou Gehrig's farewell speech, in his own hand, in your autograph collection? Or would you feel it didn't belong there because it wasn't signed?

Wow, those are some haughty examples. Do they demonstrate a rule, or are they very rare exceptions?

Let's go the other direction. Phil Niekro signatures sell every day on ebay. I've never seen an A.D. of his sell. Is that because they are rare, or because nobody wants them?

David Atkatz
05-10-2012, 01:26 AM
Here are two autograph items from my collection. The first is a check filled out and "signed" by Wilbur Wright. (A rare autograph, as he died in 1912.) He has signed the check "Wright Cycle Co," with his initials "WW" underneath. The second is a check of Orville's, which he signed "Wright Brothers," and also initialed. I don't know about you, but I find these "signatures" much more interesting, and historically valuable, than the simple--and far, far more common--"Wilbur" and "Orville."

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j245/datkatz/w_wright_check.jpg

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j245/datkatz/o_wright_check_2.jpg

mighty bombjack
05-10-2012, 10:17 AM
I love those Wrights, and I would call both of them autographs, or signatures in the dealer parlance. In a very real sense, they are signatures of the brothers as a set, especially the second one (as that is how they are collectively known).

So what do you (the board, not just David) make of this one that I found recently?

http://www.milehighcardco.com/LotDetail.aspx?lotid=24329&searchby=0&searchvalue=None&page=0&sortby=0&displayby=2&lotsperpage=100&category=10&seo=Snuffy-Stirnweiss-8x10-Photo-%22Autographed%22-by-Mickey-Mantle-JSA-Authenticated

Mr. Zipper
05-10-2012, 12:27 PM
What do you think of this Neil Armstrong autograph? :D

mighty bombjack
07-17-2012, 09:46 AM
Check out this Ed Delahanty in the Legendary auction. What an item! Is it an autograph (or signature)? After all, he is clearly writing his wife's name...

http://www.legendaryauctions.com/LotDetail.aspx?lotid=132673&searchby=0&searchvalue=None&page=0&sortby=0&displayby=2&lotsperpage=100&category=1&seo=1903-Ed-Delahanty-Signed-Envelope---One-of-the-Elusive-Hall-of-Famer