24 May 2016

Caveat eBay Chess Autographs

Remember Echoes of a Postcard (April 2016), where I noted that an eBay auction for chess autographs was similar, but not identical, to an item featured on Chesshistory.com nearly ten years ago? About a month later I received a comment explaining the difference.

The document in your article is clearly not genuine. I own the original postcard which you can see here:


The seller now has two other fake documents for sale on eBay. Fortunately no one has bought them yet.

Without publishing the comment, I contacted the sender to find out more about the 'fake'. He replied,

At first I would give [the seller] the benefit of the doubt. When you don't have the option to compare the documents with the originals, you could be fooled. The buyer of the Bad Kissingen 1928 document thought they were real enough, because he gave positive feedback on eBay after having paid $900.

My correspondent also sent the following composite image...

...and remarked,

The best evidence that my Bad Kissingen postcard was copied can be seen on the second 'L' on the Marshall autograph. Marshall allowed himself to end his signature with a rather frivolous curl. The person who made the copy thought that curl belonged to the Reti signature. And he drew it in another color, as you can see.

Yes, indeed. The eBay item is almost certainly a copy of the document shown on Chesshistory.com / Chessautographs.com. Add the 'Echoes' post to the list:-

Caveat eBay?

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