I purchased this 20+ years ago. The seller said he received it directly from Graham Chapman. Although the dealer is highly regarded, I would appreciate other opinions.
I have seen various signatures from the Monty Python troupe. Two specific observations are the John Cleese seems more legible and the Michael Palin does not have the "symbol-like" look of later signatures.
Unfortunately, none of these signatures is authentic. They're not even close.
Thank you, Gregory. I was afraid of that. Although the dealer is well regarded and he said he received this item directly from Graham Chapman, the signatures do not like consistent to what I have seen. I appreciate you sharing your expertise.
It's no problem at all. I'm just sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If you ever consider making another Python purchase, please feel free to contact me through this site ahead of time and I'd be happy to take a look for you before you pull the trigger. I know the Pythons inside and out.
In the last year or two, the forgeries have been getting significantly better in my opinion. Also, whereas Graham was the most heavily forged up until a couple of years ago, I've been seeing more and more forgeries of the other 5 Pythons as well. I really hate seeing this and I hate the thought of my fellow Python fans being duped. So if you ever need any advice on Python autographs, just shoot me a message!
Thanks Gregory. This was a BIG purchase for me 20 years ago and I am disappointed to get the bad news. However, I am in the process of sorting the good from the bad in my collection so my kids don't have to guess after I am gone. These always looked off to me despite the dealer (who remains highly regarded) saying he received this directly from Graham Chapman. Perhaps these were secretarials signed to hand out on request?
This forum is a great resource. I appreciate you sharing your expertise on this item and your offer to take a look at other items I may consider in the future.
Have to agree sadly. I've collected Python for years and my father before me since they first started and these are sadly not authentic which is a shame as they would be worth a lot! See if you can get a refund of the buyer is still going
Thank you, Dan Morris. I wish this forum existed 20 years ago when I was actively collecting but appreciate you sharing your expertise as I continue to try and clean up my collection. This one is a real blow since it was one of my biggest purchases and one of my favorites.
The dealer remains highly regarded and he provided the following story. He received it from Graham Chapman on a 1983 trip to London for an autograph show. A friend and fellow collector Jack Good told him that George Harrison and Chapman were seen at an office down the block from his hotel. He went down with Jack and found Chapman by himself sitting in an office. They went in after Chapman waved them on and each got the group photo. They were invited by Chapman to have a drink at a pub with him in Highgate.
Although it has been many years, I have reached out to the dealer. Hoping for the best but appreciate the information.
I feel your pain and we've all been in the same position. Hopefully, the dealer will do the right thing and refund you even years later so please do let us know how it goes.
I hope you can get your money back. Was there a lifetime guarantee? Please let us know how it all works out.
Incidentally, the dealer’s story is a bit of a mixed bag. While Graham was certainly patient and extremely kind and courteous to his fans, and while he definitely favored a certain pub in Highgate (The Angel Inn), he had also completely given up alcohol by 1983 so the dealer’s whole story seems suspect.
Ultimately, of course, the signatures are the only thing that counts when it comes to autographs. However, when the provenance story has holes on top of the autographs being bad, I think it reflects really poorly on the seller. I hope he does the right thing for you!
Best of luck,
Thanks again, Gregory. The timing of the release of the film and the story made sense. However, since the photo was cast-signed but presented only by Graham Chapman to both requestors, my thought was these could have been secretarial-signed photos used to promote the film. As you said, at the end of the day it is only the authenticity of the signatures that matter. I will let you know if I am able to resolve this after 20+ years.
To their credit, the Pythons were always very good about signing their own autographs for the Python office to dole out in response to fan requests. The individual and group signed photos the office kept on hand were almost always 5x7 black-and-white Walkerprint cardstock photos as opposed to larger lobby cards, front-of-house cards, or other official press materials.
In fact, I’m not even aware of any secretarial autographs being sent out from the Python office and certainly not in the time period we’re talking about. Much later, of course, the Pythons became less responsive to autograph requests as their fame and commitments grew, but I still don’t recall having seen any non-authentic signatures being sent out from their office in a deceptive manner (which speaks very well of them, I think).
Eventually, John Cleese switched over to sending out pre-printed postcards in lieu of hand-signed ones but a pre-print—at least in my opinion—is still a much better souvenir than a secretarial.
Anyway, fingers crossed for a good resolution with this dealer! Hope it works out.
All the best,
Thank you Gregory and Dan Morris for your feedback on this item.
I was able to connect with the dealer and he is offering a full refund without questioning my request despite this transaction being in 1999 and him closing his business about ten years ago. Again, he continues to have a stellar reputation in our hobby and he has been a pleasure to work with both twenty years ago and today.
However, he is very clear on receiving this directly from Graham Chapman in London per my previous post. The details including meeting him with Jack Good and going to a pub in Highgate seem to make sense, although my hypothesis this was secretarial signed for promotional purposes apparently does not. I would LOVE this to be authentic so just posting one last time to see if there is ANY chance. Final thoughts are appreciated before I remove this from the frame and forward for a refund.
Thank you for all of your help.