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Antique Roadshow: Marilyn Monroe Autograph Fake

From: Autograph Collector Magazine Newsletter


On Monday, January 31, an edition of The Antiques Road Show aired in which one of their so-called experts made a major error with a person's Marilyn Monroe signed photo. Now anyone can make an occasional error when authenticating, especially when the authentication is done in a hectic venue like the Road Show. But when the expert goes on with a narrative which is totally incorrect, it must be addressed.

Bill Miller, CEO of Odyssey Group, was watching the show when a woman presented an 8 x 10 photo of Marilyn Monroe for authentication and appraisal. "I knew right away that it was a secretarial, and expected the appraiser to deliver the bad news to the woman, but I was shocked at what happened next," Miller says. Not only did the appraiser erroneously proclaim the autograph to be good, he proclaimed that since it was signed in "red ink," it was definitely signed by Marilyn, because she always signed using red ink. He then went on to state that you can always tell Monroe secretarials because they are always signed in blue or black ink. He went on to say that his company handled many Monroe's and that this criteria was tried and true.

Miller says "Nothing could be farther from the truth! There are some authentic Marilyn's signed in red, but the majority of those are secretarial. Marilyn nearly always signed in blue, black or green. Red is the least frequently used color."

Miller said that his company as well as Profiles In History have sold authentic Marilyn pieces signed in red, but that they are in the minority. Miller immediately e-mailed the Roadshow outlining the error, and received a simple response reading "Thank you for contacting us. We will certainly forward your comments to the appraiser you saw on the show. We appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with us." Miller says that is all he ever heard, and that the show undoubtedly aired again. "This is the kind of disinformation which should have been quickly corrected and addressed on the air by the producers of the show. I've already had a call from a friend who saw the show telling me that all red Marilyns are real," he said. Miller authored an in-depth study of Monroe's signature for Autograph Collector magazine.

Reprinted with permission from Autograph Collector Magazine. Please visit their web site for more information at www.Autographs.com.

Also Read: Collecting Marilyn Monroe Memorabilia

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