Mar 5, 2014

My Movie Book Library: Did Ginger Rogers Really Sign My Copy of Her Autobiography?

Since Ginger: My Story is on my list of books to read from my library this year, I thought I'd pull it out and add it to my stack-in-progress. I started to flip through it and was a bit startled to find this on the title page:

Is that really Rogers' signature? I kind of remembered seeing it before and assuming it wasn't real. Don't know why I didn't think of it before, but I thought I'd try to find the real deal online and make a comparison. I checked out a few dealer sites and almost all of the supposed Rogers signatures looked like this:

Similar, but not too similar. I can see how I could have the real thing. Should I bother to find out?

Do you have any books or memorabilia signed by classic stars? Have you ever had an appraisal done to determine if a signature is real? 


  1. I have a baseball signed by the world champion 1929 Philadelphia Athletics -- an heirloom from my father-in-law. The appraiser said Lefty Grove's name was a stamp (he was a Hall of Fame pitcher, but a prickly s.o.b.), but the rest were genuine.

    I'll ask Katie-Bar-The-Door what the appraisal cost. We only wanted to know for insurance purposes -- I'd never sell it. Which is why my father-in-law gave the ball to me ...

  2. Yeah, I feel that way about all my books. I've got a bunch of my Dad's old records too, and they might be worth something, though they are pretty beat up. I'd never get rid of them though. That was big part of my childhood! That's sounds like one amazing baseball. How fascinating to know the detail about the stamp. That dude was prickly--sheesh!

  3. In a weak moment, I bought a 1940s signed photo of James Cagney, sent to a fan by Warners - I suspect the signature probably isn't genuine, as I've read that most photos sent out by studios were signed by staff. But it's a great picture anyway, didn't cost me much, and I suppose I prefer to think it "might" be signed by him rather than find out for certain that it wasn't! I do think there is a much better chance of a book signature being genuine, as people would often have queued up in bookshops to have them signed in person - and especially with such a recent signature, long after the studios would have got rid of their expert forgers, my guess is that you probably do have the real thing. Not that I'm any kind of expert. :)

  4. I think the fact that it was sent by the studio is still sort of exciting, though yes, not as exciting as it would have been if Cagney signed it. Sometimes I think it's more fun to keep the fantasy alive and just imagine it's real too! I've had a little more input on the Rogers signature, and I'm pretty sure it is real, but since I have no plans to sell it, I figured there's no need to find out for certain.