Marseille and Hartmann wartime signatures?

Collecting Aviation Art
Dear gentlemen,

   I found these threads regarding the signatures of Marseille, Hartmann and others, in the Wehrmacht Awards Forum and it's worth reading.

   The collectors here should take notice of the content. I was really shocked after I read the arguments and information presented.
14/05/2011 14:34:54
Hi Daniel and welcome to the forum.


   Yes, the subject of signature authenticity has also been covered in various forums including this one. It is a minefield and a real problem for collectors.


   The threads on the WA forums refer to one source in Germany. If you have a trawl around the eHangar forums (and others), you'll see arguments for/against this source, and comments from the man himself on some forums, including this one (PM me if you want more info).


   As with all "collectables", you have to make your own mind up about each item you buy. You'll see on the WA forums that WW2 German badge collecting is a real minefield with so many fakes out there that collectors spend more time fretting about authenticity than enjoying the hobby.


   However, there are also a lot of "good" collectable items out there (sigs or badges), you just have to know your subject.


   As per my comments in other threads, I stopped collecting German sigs some time ago owing to the amount of fakes that are on the market and I didn't have the time or enthusiasm to get to know the subjects in the depth that is required. I sold everything that I believed/knew to be good and threw some of my early purchases in the bin (all from a US based dealer) that were clearly junk.


14/05/2011 17:33:34
Hi Daniel, I agree with Jon, you have to know the market, there are a few out there one in particular in America, who used to trade on eBay that was knocking out forged signatures left right and centre.


   As far as the Hartmann signatures go on the links you posted, and owning a few originals they look good to me. Hartmann's signature changed after the war and late examples of his can be found on Knights Cross by Robert Taylor.


   If WWII originals are your thing then I suggest that you contact someone like Legends art Gallery or some one like that. But be prepared to pay. That being said the Me109 G6 on the Hartmann link used to belong to Jon anyway :lol:


   Shop around and have a look at as many as you can before you decide to purchase!


14/05/2011 18:30:06
That being said the Me109 G6 on the Hartmann link used to belong to Jon anyway

   .... and probably a dozen other customers of "The Street Gallery" as well!




   For those that don't know, The Street Gallery in Somerset was run by one Andrew Parkinson. It was run honsetly and fairly for several years, but unfortunately at some point, Mr Parkinson decided to fund his business by selling the same pieces to several different people at the same time (amongst other scams). This included his best customers as well as new customers.


   The RT drawing is a classic example of his "business" practices. When Parkinson was eventually arrested, ownership of that piece was claimed by at least 2 other people other than me! Eventually, after about 2 years of arguing, I got my money back from the credit card company, but I don't know how others got on.


   Last I saw, that piece was on sale at Legends, and I know that Frosty had a call from the rozzers about it after I'd given my statement! Last I heard, the police decided that it was legally his to keep or sell on.

   (NOTE: Frosty knew nothing of the chequered history of that piece - he got it from someone else, not Parky).


   After an investigation lasting some 3 years involving approximately 70 complainants (including Her Majesty's Customs & Revenue) in many different counties, Parkinson was charged with at least 30 offenses of fraud, theft, etc, (and asked for others to be taken into consideration) and was sent to prison for 18 months.


   I thought of making Frosty an offer on that drawing, but it would just bring back too many bad memories! I no longer own any items that I purachsed from the The Street Gallery for exactly the same reason.


14/05/2011 23:11:33
Blenheim, can you post your original Hartmanns? It also seems to me that referring people to Legends art gallery is open to question given the contents of the three threads on Hartmann, Marseille and Rudel.
15/05/2011 05:20:12
Autographs are a slippery slope and you should rely on what you know and be able to decide for yourself vs taking a CofA's word for it, etc.

   Just my 2 cents.


   As a long time collector, I am questioning some of the rational between the good and bad signatures on the other forum.


   -- Not just that, but you have to look at how / when and other circumstances why an autograph is signed.


   For example - not every signature is signed on a table. Some are signed holding the item in someone's hands, pushed up against someone's back, etc.


   And the object - I have a stunning Molders signed on the back of a postcard of a bridge. I was told by someone it was fake simply by what it was signed on - why would he sign a photo of a bridge. I don't have the research here, but long story short - he did indeed visit that town during the war. Wanna bet someone handed him the closest thing they could find once they ran into him? Guard getting it for his son, etc and did not have a Hoffman Molders postcard avaliable???
15/05/2011 15:13:02
I believe one day that the .... will hit the fan and there will be a lot of people

   with there heads hung low,i wouldn't touch anything german ,there must be so many expert forgers out there who have made a fortune.i respect peoples views and there values but how the hell can you tell if its real or not when the fakers are just so good.and the prices are a joke,don't care what you know i still say there are to many conmen out there.all i can say is you must be mad...
16/05/2011 11:49:32
Please have a look at this thread


   Also please read Hartmann post # 20.
16/05/2011 17:25:26
I posted, I commented, I withdrawl.

17/05/2011 17:33:33
It seems the threads have gone from one extreme to other-these are real, all are fakes, etc. I find it very confusing in the least.


   One thing I have learned is the importance of a reliable reference to compare with and knowing the source. The HJM thread has some very good information regarding reference material.
17/05/2011 18:01:23
i wouldn't touch anything german

   amen to that


I find it very confusing

   and amen to that too!!




   P.S. Just been reading some old threads on WA from 2006 saying pretty much the same as the ones on here from 2007 and the present ones on here and WA.


   I have come to the conclusion that:

   If you own a signature, you are convinced its genuine, if you don't then you are convinced its a fake!



   Over & Out!
17/05/2011 18:29:57
I think FZ1 has crystalized the entire situation with:


I have come to the conclusion that:

   If you own a signature, you are convinced its genuine, if you don't then you are convinced its a fake!

   I too am ROTFL! :rotfl


   I bought my one and only signature about 6 or 7 years ago from a source I trust. I don't have a big desire to buy any more. I'm not going to bother worrying about mine. Seems like all that stuff can drive you nuts! A hobby is supposed to be a source of enjoyment, not torture.


17/05/2011 21:45:30
No offense to ANYONE, but don't be so quick to bail out on this.


   The source being talked about is responsible for autographs on several prints released by artists we all know and love.


   I DO NOT WANT to make it sound like I don't trust the signatures!

   I do, *most of them, but if you have a German signed print, you likely have a dog in this fight if you like it or not.
17/05/2011 22:08:06
Oh heck, I just jumped back in.


   I added a bit - pictures too!! :) to the Marseille thread.


18/05/2011 04:02:26
Regarding signatures on blank sheets, photos etc.


   Dear user of the forum.


   I read here the for and against the authenticity of german signatures.

   Normally I am not writing in the forum what is genuine and what is a fake. You should know - and I know where I am talking about, that in WWII we had in germany hundred thousands of hitler youth collectors collecting signatures etc. from knights cross winner, politicals etc.


   Most of the signatures given to collectors in WWII were on blank postcards/sheets/paper as a Hoffmann/Roehr/Binz etc. genuine postcard costs at this time 20 Pfennnige in WWII. Just to give you an idear, what 20 Pfennige means to a hitler youth collector. Not many of those hitler youth collector got from the parents in the months more than 50 Pfennige or so.


   The fieldpost forward and back from/to the knights cross winner was free of charge. So it does means in fact: the hitler youth collector sent a blank piece of paper (normally taken out of the first page of a book) and sent it to the knights cross winner with the request to get a signature. The soldier sent back the fieldpost (free of charge) to the collector. This was the cheapest and the average way used in WWII by the soldiers and hitler youth collector.


   Some knights cross winner (especially the early recipients) didn??t send back the so called "clipped signature" (blank paper) - they kept this piece of paper and they throw a real Hoffmann postcard for no charge in the envelope and sent it back to the hitler youth collector. Most of the early knights cross winner (like Dietl, Moelders, Galland, Oesau, Luetzow etc....) got the photos for nothing from Hoffmann company just for promotion reasons.


   Next thing are the multi signed items:

   They exist a lot of guest books, photoalbum etc. genuine from WWII with blank sheets (first pages) multi signed by heros. This was very popular and absolutely nothing special, that a lot of members of a "Geschwader" etc. had guest books and claimed signatures in the guest books. I have seen this also very often with guest books of submarine commanders etc.

   Also with photo album from the army with the first page multi signed.

   Hotels, restaurants etc. did the same. They used also mostly the same pen.


   You cannot imagine how many guest books were made in WWII and how many people claimed signatures in the guest books. Mostly with the same pen, because the got the signature personally while a meeting / visit / etc. in the squadron / airshow / special events / hotels etc.....

   This is the reason, why you find - if you find multi signed blank sheets - so many signed with the same pen.


   In the Wehrmacht Award Forum I read about some "problems" with Hartmann??s postwar/wartime signature. I could write a book about signatures, because I met over 2.500 times knights cross winner for signings (not 2.500 different ones - only 2.500 times a big signing) in a period of over 25 years.


   When I met Hartmann (guess that is was in the middle or end of the 80??s) I personelly requested Erich Hartmann to sign for me a bunch of photos (he got $ 5,00 per signature as a signing fee) with his "wartime style of signature (it does means the old style). He did this on my request because I liked to his older style of signature on those photos.


   You must know, that Hartmann used his old wartime style of signatures

   (the collector does know what I mean with old wartime style) up to

   the mid 60??s or later. Than he changed mostly his signature to the newer style of signature which you can see on most of the Robert Taylor prints.


   So most of the signatures I have seen and discussed on Wehrmacht Award Forum are def. and doubtless genuine. He signed this style also in front of my eyes when I met him in person in middle or end of the 80??s.

   To many "experts" in WAF (Wehrmacht Award Forum) doesn??t know where they are talking about.


   Please understand, that during my 25 years experience and over ruffly 100 visits of K.C.winner per year I have seen so many different styles of signatures while they signed the prints either for me (Finearts-Autograps) or for some clients of mine.


   I give you sample what I learned maybe two months ago while a signing with Walter Schuck - oakleave winner. When I met Walter Schuck maybe two months ago, he had to sign ruffly 650 prints/bookplates in total fort me. I remember, that we have to make some breaks because 650 signatures for an old fellow is not so easy and it takes time of course.


   Whenever we started after a break the signatures looks totally different in comparison to the other ones. I have at least 5 or 6 different styles of signatures just from this mentioned signing day in a period of just 7 hrs. on the same day.

   Some of the signatures looks totally different in comparison to the first signatures he did maybe just a few hrs. (not years !) ago.


   There are a lot of called "experts" in the WAF blaiming of .... he never signed this way or that way..... the signature has exactly to be that way..... Forget about that. Every signature has to be different in comparison to the earlier or later signature somebody did. The reason is simple. IF you are in a different mooth (sorry, if I do some spelling mistakes here in english - but german is my mother language - not english) the signature will be different.


   Just try is by yourself. If you sign in the morning - just minutes after you wake up - a check, the signature will be different in comparison after an extended breakfast. Or you are in a hurry, bussy, stressed etc. you have variations in the signature. Even if you use diffferent pens. The signature will be also different.


   I have here from a regular EK 2 recipient (so nobody faked this) from a period over over 14 months 8 or 9 totally different field post letters to his sister. She gave me all the letters some years ago and I asked here why all the handwriting are different in comparison to the earlier/later ones.


   I was told by her, that she asked the same question when her brother was close to the end of WWII on vacation. She was told by him, that there is a simple reason. And the answere was the stress situation from him while his service in the Waffen SS.


   I could give you tons of more proofs and stories about different kind of signatures. Oh ... might be a good sample. When I have seen many years ago in the "Bundesarchive" - like document center, near Aachen / germany ruffly 2 dozents of combat reports signed by Schnaufer (diamond winner) in a period of ruffly just 3 years, I realized, that I have seen over 6 or 7 different versions of his signatures on his own combat report.


   Most of the "experts" in WAF doesn??t know this and they talked mostly bullshit. Believe or not. But during all my signing by the veterans I got on the same day from everybody different styles of signatures in a period of only 4 or 5 hrs. (same day). This is a fact and if you met so many different K.C.winner like me you know, that this is the truth.


   Whenever you look on a signature and you see, that the signature was done fluently (no stopping while signing) the signature is in most cases genuine. To many people are parnoid about fake. They are not as many faked signatures on the marked as most collectors expect.


   Best regards, Stefan Koerlin
18/05/2011 09:51:51
Hi Stefan, nice to hear from should contribute to this forum more often !


   I sign items on a daily basis as part of my job. I've never ever known one of my signatures to be the same. In fact they vary quite wildly. As you state, this is down to urgency, calm, stress etc.... Where I have to sign multiple items, my second signature can be very different to my first !


   I'm sure as signatures have risen in value, there are those who have and will try to forge a signature.....I think its ultimately down to buying from someone you trust who has the knowledge of the subject matter in question.


   But my heart goes out to those that have been stung ! Not nice at all


18/05/2011 11:44:29
....... in additional to my last post from this morning, please click also



   We had a similar discussion also in august 2007 !


   Best regards,

   Stefan Koerlin :)

18/05/2011 11:49:25
Hi Pete !


   Thanks for the statement you just posted here a few minutes ago. I totally agree with you, that signatures are mostly different and a question of the physical condition of the person.


   As I already mentioned here, there are less signatures faked on the marked than some user of this and other forums think.


   But here is a friendly remind from me:


   First of all: you have to be happy what you buy!

   (just take a magn. glass and look very close on the signature!)

   Next is, that you have to know the marked and the signature byself

   and last you have to know where you purchase the signature from.


   Best regards, Stefan 8-)
18/05/2011 11:56:57
Stefan, thanks for commenting.

   Glad you are aware of the posts and can defend yourself / your signatures. Only fair.


   English is fine :) You are better at it than some english speaking folks I know ;)


   The comment about asking Hartmann to sign his wartime style in the modern era is interesting. I see nothing wrong with that, but explains a big question mark that I have always had.


   I have been a customer of yours in the past and will continue to be so.

   Also have a few items that trace back to you and I am happy with those.


   Bottom line comes down to for me:

   Collect what you are happy with.
18/05/2011 13:11:41
Excellent work Steven!!! The graphics really helped me focus in on the "suspicious" elements on the two signatures.


   Now one other question, when the words fake or suspicious are used does it mean:

   A) The signature is correct (from the individual), however it is being sold as a wartime signature when it is actually a post war signature. (Rudel, Hartmann)

   B) Not the individuals signature (all of them)



   Late Post: Did not see Stefan's comments...... :D
18/05/2011 13:37:21