The aviation art community is being attacked!

Collecting Aviation Art

   This is getting pretty old and very tedious. Who is this so called expert? Are you in league with Stefan? As far as I am concerned, these guys can spew forth what ever reasons for fakes or the real article, they are no more authorities than anyone else. I have read a number of the threads and IMHO they are just as full of it as anyone else claiming to be an expert and they have the rinky dink thing. THat signature is not an extact match to mine.. they never are.


   I am sure there are a number of fakes out there, but one signature to another at a different time of day, on a different writing surface will appear different. Signatures are variable. Their opinions are just that.. theirs.


   Do they think they have the true articles or are they trying to knock out other sources to increase the value of their collections?


   So can you stop spamming the forum,..... and trying to start intra forum fights.


   Who gives a toss what they post on thier forum..
09/09/2011 21:39:08
Although the line between them often gets blurred (especially in the minds of collectors), aviation art and signatures are two different entities. I don't think we aviation artists - or for that matter the folks who collect originals - have anything to worry about. :)
09/09/2011 21:59:21
OK Brian, I'm sorry to have to tell you this but the reason you think no one gives a damm on ehangar is because we are being polite and trying to keep out of what could, I fear, become a painful experience for many signature collectors.


   If you want to believe that dozens of genuine Wick, Schnuafer, Marseille, Rudel etc signatures can be sourced 'at the drop of a hat' for new print releases then that's your perogative, just don't be surprised when some people question it.


   This campaign by Jeremy is not an attack on artists, or even the aviation art community. 90% of aviation art has nothing to do with signatures, it is, (maybe surprisingly to some), to do with something called art!


09/09/2011 22:03:56
Just one point some of you might want to pick up on; in his post on W-A, Brian said the source for his Rudel sig was Cy Stapleton, not Stefan.


   In the next post, Jeremy dismissed this and said :


   I expect the Rudel you have was originally bought from Korlin by the dealer, anyway.


   We have purchased a number of signatures from Cy some time ago, and they came from interviews relating to books that were published or not published back in the 1980's in most cases. There are transcripts that we have / are available from the interviews - the airmen / submariners / soldiers apparently made the signatures at the interviews.


   To say they came from Stefan is one almighty assumption, and is most likely wrong.


   I don't really want to get into this whole storm about signatures either, but had to pick up on that one point.


   Hope it helps.
09/09/2011 22:08:58


   What do you make of the accusation that the Marseille combat report was typed with a 1960's typewriter? Is this something that may be credible and worth looking into?


   Note that I'm not saying that is true, or trying to argue with you. I'd like to get your honest opinion on whether something like that should cause concern on our part. I ask about that because it seems like a few of the eHangar folks that have a dog in this signature fight are concerned about that particular instance.


   Frankly, now that this is out there, I think we need to get to the bottom of it. Either way it turns out - forgeries are rampant or the accusations are a non-issue started by people with ulteriour motives - we'll be better off having it settled than having the accusations continue to float out there.


09/09/2011 23:05:55

   Pull your head out and see sunshine


   I said their opinion is their opinion. It is not an expert opinion, there are hundreds of forums aorund on signatures, there are hundreds of fake signatures out there as well and hunderds of real ones and to go with that, hunderds of would be experts harping that that is a fake and mine is real nah nah na nah nah game..


   That is part nad parcel of collecting anything.


   This forum is formost an aviation art forum, not a signature hunting ground.


   I dont hold WA in any high regard, certainly much less than the people I collect from who I do beleive to be genuine.


   es I have read their posts, and the only part that has credence is the one as Fuzzy has stated with the typewriter. But one in how many acutally proven?... please. I wouldnt be surprised if they actually are using a fake for comparision, believing it to be real. Becuase of course they have the real thing. It is a hobby frought with peril.


   Let them say what they want, and yes I do care about the collectors on this forum, but stirring up a fight between forums is not what this site is all about. Want to get upset, go knock yourself out over at WA not here.


   Stefan and Colin have to fight their own battle, it is not ours, if they are certain they have the genuine article, then their lawyers can take issue with WA, NOT Members from Ehanger.
09/09/2011 23:26:48
One guy on an obscure forum spouting his opinion is not going to destroy anything. By soliciting a posse on this forum (and possibly others) you are drawing even more attention to it and probably doing more harm than if you just ignore the guy. By engaging in the controversy you are playing right into their hands.


   Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Usually a reasonable person can come to an informed conclusion after weighing all the evidence. One man's opinion is just that. A serious collector will spend time researching his passion gathering as much information as possible from many sources. I doubt they will stop at the Wermacht-Awards forum as the final authority on the subject.


   It is true the internet is a powerful medium and has a world wide reach however in my experience, the majority of aviation art buyers don't spend their time on forums. There is a big market out there blissfully unaware or just plain indifferent to the online aviation art scene.
10/09/2011 01:07:36
What you are saying is that you would rather have the art market, including an artist like Trudgian and Taylor, along with companies such as Legends, go under because nobody will buy their stuff after reading a post from this "Jeremy" that keeps blasting the internet with accusations?


   I assure you that Taylor and Trudgian aren't going to go under if the signature market takes a kick. They are both great artists and will continue to sell great art with or without signatures.
10/09/2011 11:24:23
Bottom line: as an autograph collector this has been brewing a long time and it will get worse. Not blaming one source, but the amount of questionable material is laughable. Has ANYONE offered proof for something being authentic other than it came from Korlin?


   Not a swipe at Korlin, but to hear some people, BLIND FAITH is authentication enough.



   Another thought: Anyone raise an eye brow over 150 combat reports suddenly for sale in a print edition?....
10/09/2011 14:03:08
I must admit I opened this thread with trepidation, and slight worry. I can breath a sigh of relief having read it. Aviation art isn't "under attack" signature collecting may be? but not art!!

   I couldn't put it any better than mark's words really. I for one and I suspect the majority of aviation art collectors are the same actually collect aviation art

   KillerKatonas, if you suspect your purchases will be damaged because of signatures I believe you bought for different reasons than I would.
10/09/2011 14:59:01
i was told last year that a gallery owner who had certain signatures was getting a little concerned about certain names in the signature world,and then i heard it from a artist ... you all live in dream world if you think your art with signatures is worth a fortune...ill say again "live in dream land" i keep seeing the word investments lol ! hardly any prints /art go up only a handful still demand fair prices...i sold 75 prints which cost me 15 grand i lost a packet included was horrido knights cross edition 2/5 ,not even the military gallery wanted to buy it back for 3 grand leaving them a nice profit.i had some tasty signatures all knights cross going to say im glad i'm well out of it...and the signature market is laughable...
10/09/2011 16:03:11


   I too opened this thread with concern, and like you I was greatly relieved. Kudos to you and Mark P for your responses.


   I understand the interest in collecting signatures, but it has nothing to do with art. Sadly, it's significance is what the business of aviation art has become these days.


   In regard to the topic at hand, I think Steve H has hit the nail squarely on the head.


   Tim M.
10/09/2011 18:03:28
Up to the release of the canvas prints, I collected signed prints. I like the combination of signatures and art :)


   The price of a Nick Trudgian print, signed only by the artist, is only ??70, which shows that you can get top notch art for a very reasonable price. However, I like to have a few signatures on the print, so I normally go for the next level up.


   The mixing of art, signatures, medals and aircraft bits, is all possible and if a person wants to combine them to make the display they want, then good for them. Asking what has art got to do with signatures is a bit like saying what have strawberries got to do with ice cream. They compliment each other, if you like them both.....but you can enjoy them on their own if you want


   I don't think there is much danger of faked signatures on the prints that have the signatures actually on the prints paper and on the cert.


   The danger area looks to be the matted signatures and additional signatures added later. If someone wants to go for these then they are going into an area that will always be controversial as with only a name of a bit of paper, its going to be down to the "opinion " of the experts.



10/09/2011 18:13:08
There are only a finite amount of signatures to be had in the world,when all suspicion of realistic supplies will have come to an end then people will have to buy the art because of the painting ,which to me should always be the main reason anyway.
10/09/2011 18:29:34
it's always been about the art, the signatures and meeting the Aces, crew and support people are the bonus, oh and the Artists too. (sorry ;) ).


   Of my small collection, I am certain that of the 500+ signatures at least 99% are the genuine article, why? Because they were signed in my presence by the people themselves. A luxury for some, but I have been fortunate. The 1% are those that came with the print, I do believe are the genuine article.


   Not too many overly famous people in my collection, but what makes it special to me are that I met them. As one Lancaster pilot who signed a print under the nose of the Lancaster at Duxford said to me, "I bet you??   re going to flog this in Ebay!" I said no sir!, this is my memory of meeting you, my proof that I have thanked you, and have been able to talk to you and share your thoughts, I will never sell this. Looking up with a smile on his face he replied "Then I will gladly sign this for you!".


   Those memories of events like that, gallery meets, looking after some of the signers, and meeting others at air shows, sharing a laugh, a recollection, debating a point and in some cases becoming friends with these people make my collection of prints and books more special to me.


   Yes it's the Art, but it is also the memories, and being touched by these people, (men and women) that add the uniqueness to our collections. Once they move onwards, we shall never again be able to talk but I can always look up and see/touch the print and remember and smile, and in some cases with tear in my eye.


   This is my side of the collections of signatures, not for monetary gain, but for the privilege of meeting and remembering.
10/09/2011 19:00:53
DC has it right.


   Aviation art and signatures are two distinct genres of collecting that can be combined to create collectables that are greater than the sum of their parts for those who appreciate both.


   Very much like strawberries and ice cream - nice analogy DC!


   The art is key, though. Think of all the sold-out prints that do not carry any aircrew signatures. Gil Cohen's "Coming Home, England 1943" and William S. Phillips' "Dauntless Against A Rising Sun" immediately jump to my mind as two of the very best examples.


   Conversely, think of all the prints out there with an amazing lineup of signatures, but art that does not inspire, that will never sell out. I won't mention any specific instances, but I'm sure you can all come up with your own.


   On the other hand, great signatures unquestionably add significant value to great art. A recent eBay sale gives a nice reminder. A mint condition unsigned copy of Robert Taylor's "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders" sold for about $300. Add the signatures to it - especially Jimmy Doolittle - and you'll increase the value of that print somewhere between $1000 and $2000.


   No great mystery as to why that is the case. I think it's obvious that most collectors with a strong interest in aviation history appreciate both. We are fascinated with the events (represented by the art), and we are fascinated with the men who shaped those events (represented by the autographs). Simple answer.


   Sure, there are a few who care only for the art. Also, there are a few who care mainly for the signatures, with the art in a distant second place. I think those two camps make up a fairly small number of collectors, though. The results of the marketplace strongly imply, in fact prove, that most aviation art collectors have a strong interest in both.


   mig15 makes another valuable point. It sure is a wonderful experience to meet the aircrew, make that connection, and add the autograph in person. Hope to see some of you at the American Fighter Aces Association 51st reunion in Orlando this month!


10/09/2011 22:31:46
Fuzzy and DC, your two postings probably sum up what we are all about on this site, I cannot make out what WA is about.


   KillerKatanas, Aviation art has not been much of an investment for many years now with the odd exception. Probably not since Military gallery sold Bader, Tuck and Cheshire signed prints for a tenner in the 70's. I have a MG brochure from the late 70's and now all I need is a time machine and a few hundred pounds and then I could make a worthwhile investment in aviation art.
11/09/2011 08:18:14
I must admit, when I saw the "discussion" thread on the signatures, I was uncomfortable with the timing. Here was a thread disputing the signature of Hans Joachim Marseille , just before the new Trudgian print was about to be released. As very few people knew about the print and its combat report edition, the timing of the thread seemed suspect.


   As I said before, the basic print is only valued at ??70, which means the signature aspect is adding another ??2900 to cost. At this price, the buyer has to be very sure he is getting a genuine signature.


   At this level, you really are in the signature buying business and the print is almost irrelevant. However, with the number of prints being sold dropping, I can see why artists are looking for other ways of making money from their paintings.


   Maybe it is time for the signature sellers to form some sort of group or body that authenticates and insures the purchaser against fraud.
11/09/2011 08:18:15
Since the brouhaha is focused on the clipped signatures incorporated into matted or framed prints, this issue is of concern mainly to signature collectors. Guys like Brian.


   Yes, these editions are coming from aviation art publishers, dealers, and artists like Military Gallery, Legends, Stefan Korlin, and Nick Trudgian (in very, very small numbers).


   The prices are astronomical (due to the signatures), pricing most collectors out of that market. Furthermore, I think they typical aviation art collector has stayed with the traditional print or canvas - both pilot signed & unsigned. It is the hardcore signature collector who is the target market for these matted-clipped-signature prints.


   That's probably why there has not been a groundswell of support on eHangar. Most of us are not hardcore signature collectors. There are a few. Most of us are aviation art collectors first and foremost.


   I haven't gone through WA in depth. Did they post all the documentation and correspondence to support the 1960's typewriter claim? Or did be just summarize the results? I think a claim like that would require every scrap of documentary evidence to be posted in order for it to hold sway.


   Either way, if dealers, publishers & artists want to continue selling their current inventory and future releases of signature-centered products, they're going to have to get behind them more strongly.


   Unbiased, expert, credible, professional authentification of these signatures should now be a requirement. A no-questions-asked-money-back-guarantee should be in place in order to let the buyer know the seller has complete confidence in the authenticity of these signatures.


11/09/2011 13:24:43
I agree with Mark here. This is about an art form, as practiced by artists for the enjoyment and patronage of enthusiasts and collectors. Whether you view one artist as great and another poor is neither one thing nor anything but an opinion.


   If you see our work as merely a support for autographs/signatures however aquired, you are overspending in the wrong marketplace; buy an autograph book and the best of luck with that.


   Signatures are really of no concern to me or any artist worthy of the title I know of. It's all about the craft and skill we bring to bear to tell a story in paint, to make paintings of high standard and genuine quality.


   You don't need a pillock like this idiot to tell you whether what you are looking at is worthy of anything or not, as far as paintings are concerned.


   That's why we successful artists who have won our repututions and our collectors by hard work and fair play, are not suddenly going to jump up and down in a flap every time some bloody turnip opens his mouth on the internet.


   I don't know who this Jeremy is but he is clearly a lucky soul with more spare time on his hands than most of us.


   Or... more likely there is an agenda going on behind his unsubstantiated attacks and claims.


   Ignore him Gentlemen. He's nothing worth a moment of your concern. Unless he is calling your signature collection fake. In which case you should be talking to the police if you have genuine cause for concern.


11/09/2011 19:52:12