Interesting Signed Book

I was looking up a person who authored a book about autograph collecting and found something interesting.
He is a renowned autograph forger!
Mr. Herman Darvick.
I remember first seeing this book back when I was in junior high school, mid 1980’s.
I’ll try to not be too long winded, promise.
A few years ago my lady and I go to Portland,OR.
We go to the famous Powell’s book store. HUGE is the word for that store.
I find a copy of the book and it is signed by Darvick!
Here’s the kicker. The book is a children’s book as your well aware with some child collectors mentioned in the book.
The book is inscribed to one of those children, a Georgia Terry. Isn’t that crazy?
Now, here’s a question. On your website I see a program of an auction Darvick held that is signed by him.
You state that signatures of autograph forgers are quite scarce and somewhat desirable.
Why is that? Now not that I care because I’m not a seller but strictly a collector but will ask anyway. Is this book worth much??
I mostly collect hockey, signed cards mostly but got some other signed items.
At this moment over 2600 different signed cards. 1145 of them in person acquires. Best autographs are ones you get yourself right.
Any info you may have on that book would be appreciated.

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    • Rick, what an interesting question, one that I have not really heard in over 50 years. I personally witnessed Herman Darvick forging autographs. He was so proud of his work, smiling and saying how few would know they were forgeries.  All the signatures of some Presidents of the United States that Darvick forged I kept and still have.  Years ago I showed Darvick's forgeries with the late great Charles Hamilton. Hamilton instantly called them forgeries and asked if I knew who wrote them.  I knew he would ask because I did the same with him with Nazi autographs coming out of a stamp store in Irvington, New Jersey.  A young German born fellow was supplying the stamp store.  I told Hamilton the forgeries he just saw was written by the hand of Herman Darvick.  My surprise was that Hamilton didn't look surprised.  He said he would remain to be friendly with Darvick but keep an open eye. This caused some friction between Darvick and I as I continued exposing his works with collectors.  Hamilton wrote a new edition of his book in 1993, Collecting Autographs and Manuscripts. Hamilton told me he would not mention Darvick's name or mention Darvick's children’s book.  Hamilton did mention my name and address as a reliable dealer and also recommended my book about collecting signed books by the Presidents and First Ladies.  This infuriated Herman Darvick and still does today.  Darvick even stooped as low as saying I penned the forgeries.  It took several years for Darvick to finally admit, in writing, that he did forge in front of Stephen Koschal.  Darvick held some auctions in New York City which drew much attention. He was offering some autographs of Shoeless Joe Jackson.  Most professional sports autograph dealers never held a genuine Joe Jackson but little Herman seemed to have a regular supply. Mush has been written about the Jackson/Darvick ordeal.

    There were several forgers from the early 20th century up to today. Some names including their specialty are Joseph Cosey (Edgar Allen Poe, Ben Franklin, Lincoln and composers such as Mozart), Eugene Field II ( volumes of books bearing  forged signatures of his father Eugene Field, Mark Twain and more), William H. Ireland (Shakespeare), Charles Weisberg (Abraham Lincoln), Henry Woodhouse (several Arctic Explorers, T. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson), Robert Spring (checks of George Washington was his specialty), and Major Byron (Keats and Shelley). Identities of modern day forgers are Konrad Kujau (Hitler, Nazis and Hitler Diaries), Mark Hoffman, presently in prison (Daniel Boone, John Hancock and forgeries of major Mormon figures) and Herman Darvick (President's of the United States from JFK to present).  In addition there is an on going study of forgeries of 2 celebrity’s  outside the field of Presidents that may eventually be attributed to Herman Darvick. 

    Most interesting is that the above names of listed forgers,  how many actual signatures of these forgers are available to collectors?  There are collectors interested in collecting signatures of these bad boys.  In all my years as a collector/autograph dealer the only signatures I have been able to obtain are those of Henry Woodhouse and Herman Darvick. 

    I also have the kiddie book by Herman Darvick.  He inscribed it to me adding that “you will never be able to guess which autographs in this book were actually signed by me.  There are two of them."

    The works of most forgers still demand a fairly good price. The price of a signature of one of these forgers, if available, are saleable in today's market.  I am sure the desirability will continue as time goes by. 

    It is known  some professional dealers will purchase a well executed forgery, if the price is fair.  A few say they will do so simply to remove the spurious item from circulation.

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