I came across a Tommy Lee Jones autograph while looking at a seller’s inventory on eBay. These things are *crazy* hard to find.
The seller’s image bugged me, so I searched for more scans, and to my extreme surprise there were two more on eBay.
Here is what I found (in no particular order). . . Up first:
Our first example sold for a whopping $366.00 from seller mason3461. That’s right, someone spent $366 on a card that has a scan so blurry that it’s essentially useless. I have no clue if this card is real or fake, but just given that someone would bid hundreds of dollars on a card they can’t even see clearly points out why it is relatively easy for counterfeiters to pass off fakes. This auction did not include the redemption card.
Door number two. . . not a whole lot to say about this one. Nice crisp scan. Reasonable looking autograph. ibert92 is asking $799. No details about the redemption card are listed.
Finally door number three. Nice scan, but a signature that, according to one Non-Sport Card Forum member, looks like it was written by a five year old with a crayon. jediblaster0 got just under $400 for this card without the matching redemption. Just looking at how spotty the signature on this card would have lead me to give this listing a wide berth.
So what’s the verdict. . . I don’t have a copy of a known good scan so I have no clue, but what I do know is that these cards don’t look the same.
The first scan is so crappy it’s hard to tell what’s going on. The second scan seems most likely to be legitimate, and the last scan is questionable just because of the spotty signature
I’ve combined the image into stacked cards to try to point out differences in the signature. The difficulty in that is that there are so many inconsistencies between the cards that I could point out nearly every stroke in the signature as being suspect from one card to the next. . . So I picked out the three that are the most glaringly obvious to me and decided to focus on them. . .
The red arrow is pointing out that the ‘Y’ in Tommy on the top two cards finishes in a line. The bottom one finishes in a loop.
The blue arrow points out that all of the ‘J’ in Jones are different. The top and middle are stylistically similar, but the middle has an extra flourish. Both the top and middle scans have a ‘J’ that finishes in a line, where the bottom card finishes in a loop again.
Green is pointing out the end of ‘Jones’ The ‘nes’ turns into a line in the top two signatures, but is sort of poorly, possibly misspelled (‘Jonse’).
There is no doubt to me that these differences show that the signatures on these cards were not all from the same hand. The top two cards (from what I can see in the junk scan/photo) appear to be pretty similar, but the bottom one is really different.
Personally I never would have bought the top card because of the image. It could be legit, it could be autopen, it could be a color copy, who knows. The middle card would be the one I would try to find out more about if I were looking to buy. If they seller seemed legitimate, I’d be pretty comfortable with that card (at least until I got it into my hands and could examine it in person). I wouldn’t touch the bottom card with a proverbial 10 foot pole. The nail in the coffin, in my mind, for that card is the teeny tiny scan on Inkworks’ website:
As tiny as that scan is you can still tell the signature doesn’t match the ’5 year old with crayon’ signature on the last card.
This appears to be yet another case of someone bidding a bunch of money on a card without doing the slightest bit of research.