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  #1  
Old 07-29-2004, 12:01 PM
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Default photo 'authentication' service

Posted By: hankron

This post is to note that, starting in the next few months, I will be offering an in person and via mail photograph judgment service. This will allow folks who have questioned photos to submit them via mail for my examination and judgment ('original Conlon', 'vintage Cobb,' 'reprint'). It is likely that people will use this service if the have questions about the authenticity about an expensive photograph they own, or for other reasons desire paper documentation of the photograph. At the beginning the service will specialize in early paper baseball photographs (e.g. no tintypes), but will expand to other areas.

This service will not involve grading and there will be no holder. A certificate of documentation will be returned with the photo, and, if requested, the photo can be tagged on back. I will be insured to handle others' photographs, meaning the owners don't have to worry while the photo is in my possession. I do not intend to become like a grading service, but the insurance (in particular) will allow me to handle others photographs when desirable. In the past, I've never been able (without financial risk) of handling others photos, so regularly turned down requests to receive a photo in the mail.

I have the structure of the service well defined in my mind, but if people have suggestions on what they would like I am happy to listen.

I am not suggesting that people have to have their photos examined in person ('a card has to be graded, or it won't sell'), and there are a good number of very capable collectors and sellers on this board and elsewhere. I am merely having this service available for people who have questions about a photo and want it checked out, or for people who are confident about the photograph but want some 'official' documentation to make sale easier.

My website will continue to have available the same amount of research and guides for the use of, well, whomever wants to use it.

Thanks,

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Old 07-29-2004, 12:57 PM
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Default photo 'authentication' service

Posted By: Andy Baran

David,

Without somehow slabbing the photos, how do you prevent crooks from getting a real photo authenticated, only to use the LOA to sell a fake item?

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Old 07-29-2004, 01:40 PM
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Default photo 'authentication' service

Posted By: hankron

Removed the volume, shorten it to ... Andy your questions about forgery and slabbing are legitimate topics, and ones I think about a lot. Being as paranoid as anyone about these topics, I would not start the service without a suitable system. From a purely selfish standpoint, I wouldn't want my name forged and applied to bogus photos-- that's definitely not in my interest.

(pictures for general entertaiment, and for Julie to save onto her hard drive)








Sadahara Oh & Joe Torre, 1974 New York Mets Tour of Japan

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Old 07-29-2004, 02:12 PM
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Default photo 'authentication' service

Posted By: hankron

.

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Old 07-29-2004, 06:11 PM
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Default photo 'authentication' service

Posted By: barrysloate

Hey David- I think your idea is a great one, and I know you have the expertise to make it work. You can provide a more informal service than the grading companies; in other words, if a collector sends you a photo he has a question about, you can offer a professional opinion so that he has piece of mind with it. It doesn't have to include a letter that can be reused to sell a fake photo; you can simply render an opinion as to whether someone got what he expected. It wouldn't necessarily be the "last word" on the photo (as collectors often mistakenly think that a slab is a guarantee of a grade) but simply your expert opinion as whether a photo is first generation, later print, laser copy, etc. I think just knowing an expert examined it is a great service (and a collector should be happy to pay a fee for this). Go for it!

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Old 07-29-2004, 06:52 PM
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Default photo 'authentication' service

Posted By: hankron

Barry, thanks for the note. Thinking about it, I had come to a similar conclusion as you. That it should be a serious opinion but an informal service-- I look at the photo and tell the owner what I think. A lot of people who contact me are people who have an old and impressive family photo and are just want to have someone look at it and tell the family about it-- they aren't looking for hologram tags and embossed COAs and have no intention of selling it. Or they have a diverse collection they want me to look through and weed the originals from the reprints. Now, if some requires a formal LOA for whatever reason, that can be arranged-- but those would be the out of the ordariy special requests ... In the end, it would be a case by case scenario. The owner would tell me what they have and need and I would tell them what I could do.

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Old 07-29-2004, 06:55 PM
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Default photo 'authentication' service

Posted By: barrysloate

That's exactly the way it should work. Good luck.

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