Steve Grad Brings His Lack of Authenticating Skills to Beckett
by Stephen Koschal
Many collectors and dealers are very disappointed by the refusal of Steve Grad to accept the invitation to discuss his authenticating skills or lack of at a hotel convenient to Grad and in front of a camera at no cost to Grad. This invitation, offered multiple times has been ignored by Grad and maybe this story might explain clearly why Grad continues to hide from being asked to discuss his autograph education and what he thinks his autograph skills are in public.
This latest Steve Grad autograph authentication, who now works for Beckett, is unspeakable. One has to believe the following proof of his lack of knowledge in authenticating autographs seems unsurpassable. Yet, some sellers of autographs will spend money to get his signed COA. Why, just maybe the sellers know the item is not genuine and gamble the 50 bucks or so hoping Grad will pass the item as genuine.
A recent item was posted for auction on eBay. The seller who has 8101 feedbacks, registered in New York claims that you can “Buy with confidence, highly trusted 19 year eBay seller and someone who is both a collector and seller of top quality autographed memorabilia for over 35 years.”
If this is the case that the seller is so professional, why use and pay dearly for some outsider to issue a Certificate of Authenticity? Most professional autograph sellers would never use one of those companies who claim to authenticate autographs. In the three or four companies who claim to authenticate autographs, not one of their so called experts will come forward and discuss their authenticating skills.
What this particular autograph seller is pushing is quoted as “Anna Nicole Smith Signed 8”x10” Color Photo Certified Authentic Beckett COALOA.”
See illustrations below.
Take notice the Beckett COA, it bears the signature of Steve Grad.
Now for the facts! Four unspeakable mistakes are made in a single authentication and the seller is charged a costly fee.
1) This photograph was produced several years after Anna Nicole passed away.
Mistake: Grad unable to identify old verses new photo paper.
2) The photograph above is not an image of Anna Nicole Smith. Anna Nicole Smith died in 2007. This photo is of the actress who played Anna Nicole, last year. Her name is Agnes Bruckner.
Mistake: Steve Grad is unable to tell the difference of an Anna Nicole image verses and actress who played her. Anna Nicole images are everywhere, there is simply no excuse for this incompetence.
3) The signature “Anna Nicole” obviously is not written by Anna Nicole as she had passed away years ago. In addition, the actress most likely would not have signed the signature “Anna Nicole” as that is only the part she played.
Mistake: We now have what they call themselves a “professional” seller of autographs with 35 years experience and he is selling this as a genuine signed photo of Anna Nicole Smith.
4) Someone at Beckett placed one of those stickers on the photograph.
Mistake: Most professional autograph collectors and sellers believe that these stickers will eventually leave a stain on an original item if it is removed later. These shiny new stickers also detract from the appearance of an original item, especially if the item is vintage. The placing of a sticker on a genuine item can also decrease the value of the autograph.
Experts I talked to get hysterical when they see this photograph authenticated as genuine by Steve Grad of Beckett. Some half wit took this photo of Agnes Bruckner and poorly forged the signature of Anna Nicole on it.
A professional autograph dealer has just said that they would like to take a photo of John Goodman playing the role of Babe Ruth and have it signed Babe Ruth and send it to Grad for authentication. Or how about sending a photo of Katie Holmes playing the part of Jacqueline Kennedy and signing it Jacqueline Kennedy and sending it off to Grad for his sticker and COA. A good $50 investment for the dishonest in this hobby.
In this case of the Anna Nicole fiasco, no cause for alarm. Everything about the photograph above is a disgrace and once again proves the lack of sophomoric knowledge of Steve Grad, one who claims to be an autograph authenticator.
The above clearly expresses just one more reason why Steve Grad hides from interviews. How much more proof does the top brass at Beckett have to see exactly what Grad is doing to their reputation?