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More Certificate of Authenticity usage reports in-the-media
February 14, 2016
"Guitars pulled from auction amid doubts of authenticity"
By Richard Johnson:
The Post gets action.
A day after I made inquiries about a collection of guitars supposedly signed by rock stars, Guernsey’s removed them from its Feb. 27 auction.
Rock ’n’ roll memorabilia collectors told me that most of the autographed guitars were fakes — and that the auction house wasn’t even guaranteeing they were real. Now the auction of the so-called Delaware Collection of guitars signed by David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and U2, to name a few, has been canceled.
Among the most dubious of the guitars was the Höfner bass signed by all four Beatles.
“There are only two known in existence, and one was destroyed in a mud slide,” one collector told me. “This one is valued at $30,000, but if it were real, it would be worth $1 million.”
Another guitar bears the signature of Buddy Holly, who died in 1959. “It’s signed with a Sharpie, which wasn’t invented yet,” laughed one source.
The Guernsey’s catalog had warned bidders: “Most of the lots come with a letter of authenticity from the sources the collector acquired the items from. However, inasmuch as Guernsey’s has no ability to retrace the provenance of these items, we cannot verify their authenticity.”
“Our reputation is paramount to us, and when questions about some of the items in what has been referred to as ‘The Delaware Collection’ in our upcoming auction were raised, we thought it was best to withdraw that entire collection,” Guernsey’s president Arlan Ettinger told me.
“This is a very important sale of wonderful and significant guitars, and we certainly didn’t want anything to blemish that image.”
Certain outfits are known for issuing bogus certificates of authenticity for their fakes. “It’s like ordering a hamburger from Jeffrey Dahmer,” one expert said.
A spokesman at Antiquities International of Las Vegas, which sold many of the guitars in the Delaware Collection, told me, “Every guitar has a certificate of authenticity. We stand behind them.”
The auction at the Bohemian National Hall on East 73rd Street will proceed with 20 guitars owned by jazz great George Benson and 40 instruments from the late arranger Robert Yelin. There is no question of their provenance.
Below read actual Certificate of Authenticity uses as reported in-the-media...