One of Eric's tools for authentication - Joni Mitchell (short version)

Hi All,

I am posting this here as this method is buried in another thread and not likely to be seen. In the recent Vincent Price SP discussion there was some question of authenticity. It was suggested I make a dedicated Discussion of this technique which I have been using succesfuly for more than 10 years. I'm showing just one method that has proven very useful over the years. Viewing signatures alongside known exemplars (I miss TheCead!) flipped backwards and/or upside and/or flipped horizontally and/or flipped vertically in Photoshop to view forms, loops angles, spatial relations and negative spaces without the eye being muddied by seeing the normal letter shapes - to see clinically from a different POV. This example is a Joni Mitchell questioned by Stepeanut. My analysis is below the questioned Mitchell. To read the entire thread, which I recommend, click HERE.

Here is the questioned Mitchell. Beneath that is the questioned signature on the bottom along with three genuine examples using this technique. The questioned example is slightly atypical but clearly genuine in my opinion based on the work I prepared. Stepeanut agrees. Three points of reference were selected and highlighted in Yellow. I have not encountered many if any forgeries that can withstand this sort of scrutiny. The bad material sticks out immediately.

 Again, there much more information and explanations in the original Discussion with positive comments from other members and top Bowie authenticator Andy Peters ( who also uses this technique to be found HERE.

Here is my comparison - upside down and flipped horizontally.

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Comments, opinions and questions welcome.

I love anything that keeps people from getting ripped off by forgers.

Thanks Josh. :)

Thanks for highlighting this interesting side discussion in its own thread, Eric.

I’ve just won the item — a 1983 U.K. tour programme — at auction for £30 plus fees.  I think that’s a bargain, but I wouldn’t have gone for it without your input, so huge thanks again.

Thank you! Glad you won the Mitchell. Hope more folks read this thread. And of course you are most welcome. :)

Comments, observations or questions welcome. :)

Does anyone have any techniques they'd like to share?

Hi Eric

Once again, thanks for the message.  I am not a Joni Mitchell expert. However, I did get her autograph in person in 1983.

But immediately what strikes me is how slowly the one being discussed has been signed, she signs fast! You can see the slowness. Thus is not authentic. Look at the slow wiggle on the final L, it's hesitation.

The upside down analysis is a great idea though! To my eye, the one in question fails on both that and the slowness.

Here's my autograph 

Hmm. Stepeanut and I came up with authentic. It is an older signature - about 40 years old.

There are two areas like that which I attribute to ballpoint pen on a rather heavy stock glossy program cover. I've seen it before on double weight matte finish photographs signed in ball point - unless using a felt tip or sharpie that combination of ballpoint and paper can slow you down and kind of dictate some curves:

Oh well, it's just opinion. I only really do Marilyn. Having said that there is a "splashiness" to both Monroe and Joni Mitchell which needs to be in the signatures due to similar speeds, those connecting fast trajectories.  There is just a lot less detail in the one in question also.

The item may be old, but of course the signature could have been added more recently.

I see also the emphasis at the start of the crossing of the small t is hesitant too. The writer put the pen on the page and then crossed, whereas all the genuine comparisons there is a strong, unhesitant crossing with a push at the front, rather than a slight curve. Joni knows exactly where to cross her t. I see there is a curve version that authentic, but it's so much more confident. 

Ah well, not my area of expertise, just observations :-) 

Yikes, my signature is 40 years old! she was on her "Wild Things Run Fast" tour and I got invited to hang out. 

Agreed - opinions :) These two are also from the early 80's - a lithograph and a card - look at the variation in structure and form with your IP in just this short time. The "o's are very different on the litho, but they all share the same form and relationships shown in yellow. The first "i" and "dot" share the same little curve and tick form - I mentioned the questioned item is atypical but I think still genuine. Click for full images:



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