The Autograph Blog - This and That About Autographs

Thursday, June 01, 2006

PSA Authenticating the Wrong Person's Autograph

This item is being sold on ebay as of 5/23/06, Item #6589943097. It is a letter signed by German Fuhrer Karl Donitz. (Donitz replaced Hitler). He was the Fuhrer who surrendered to the allies for Germany and ended the European theatre of WWII. This letter is clearly identified in the PSA COA as being signed by Admiral Nimitz (US Navy Admiral during WWII, he served in the Pacific). The PSA COA is signed for PSA by James Spence and Steve Grad. It is dated April 24,2003. The item being sold (obviously a copy of the original historical document, collectors will create these types of items) was signed and dated by Donitz in 1976. Admiral Nimitz died in 1966. They totally misidentified the signature and ID'd it as a man who had been dead for 10 years. The question is did James Spence or Steve Grad do even the least bit of research on this signature and document? Apparently not. Authenticators can disagree on the validity of an autograph. This particular item is not a disagreement on the validity of an autograph. This is a sample of the work PSA has done. The local Better Business Bureau has given the company a D rating. That is the second lowest rating possible from the BBB. PSA has authenticated facsimiles as authentic, has authenticated rubber stamps as authentic, has authenticated autopens as authentic and has misidentified autographs by not even naming the signature correctly.