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John Lennon Handwritten Letter to Fan "Brenda" and Paul McCartney Letter to Mal Evans
2 July 2015
8.12pm
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hucko
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Hello,

I am interested in any opinions people may have on the attached pic of a handwritten letter by John Lennon to fan "Brenda" sometime in the mid 1960's.

Authenticity?  Coolness factor?

Any experts on John Lennon 's cursive handwriting out there?

Thanks a lot!!

-Hucko

2 July 2015
8.32pm
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Beatlebug
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Hi there Hucko, 

I don't profess to be an expert on handwriting, but judging by what examples I have seen, your letter does not look very much like it is in John's handwriting. Except the signature... but the signature might be a bit easier to forge... 

Here is an example of his writing: 

in-my-life-draft1.jpgImage Enlarger

Hope it helps! 

It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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2 July 2015
9.35pm
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hucko
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Hello Silly Girl,

Thank you for your reply!

Thank you for the authentic example as well.  Actually I have looked at many authentic examples myself, many of which look like the one you posted.  There are a small number that seem to get large and sloppy.  I think those could be fakes, or they could have been written when he was in a certain state of mind.  It is so hard to tell...

Because the body of this letter is written in script that seems to be consistent with that of the signature, do you think that points to it being authentic or just inconclusive?

Thanks again...

2 July 2015
9.50pm
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hucko
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Does anyone know of a reputable authentication firm that for a fee would give me their opinion on the authenticity of this piece using the photo alone?

Hucko

2 July 2015
9.55pm
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Ron Nasty
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Hi Hucko

The first thing I will say is that any opinion given here is just that, opinion. The major auction houses who hold music memorilbilia auctions (Sotherby's, Phillips, Bonhams, Christies) have experts at this type of thing, and offer free valuations which would, obviously, take in their opinion on authenticity. So far as I know, they would be prepared to respond to a photograph of an item as to whether it is worth closer examination.

Looking at the letter itself, there are things about it that I do not like - John's handwriting wasn't usually so right-leaning, the lower case e's are unusual for John (though not unknown). That said, depending on provenance, and you've said little about that here, overall it looks right to me.

Of course it's cool, very cool. I particularly like the "as you see I have no paper" line.

I hope this helps, but my real advice is not to take my opinion but contact one of the major auction houses.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

2 July 2015
10.04pm
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hucko
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Hey R. Nasty,

This particular piece has been authenticated by Drew Max.  I have read a couple of complaints about his authentications on the web, but not very many.  Does that carry any weight?

Thanks again,

Hucko

2 July 2015
10.09pm
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Necko
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I hate to be "that guy," but it doesn't look real to me.  There appears to be too much of a slant to the handwriting compared to other examples.  It almost looks like someone tried to imitate John Lennon 's handwriting, but then put it in italics.

Just my unprofessional opinion.  I don't claim to be an expert and I wish you the best if you do bring it to someone who knows more than us. 

I'm Necko.  I'm like Ringo except I wear necklaces.

I'm also ewe2 on weekends.

Most likely to post things that make you go hmm... 2015, 2016, 2017. 

2 July 2015
10.23pm
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Ron Nasty
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Having just Googled Drew Max, I would say his authentication throws much more doubt on it. It seems at least some of his authentications are questionable (to say the least). It seems some major auction houses will no longer accept any item based on his authentications. Were you to approach one, I wouldn't let them know he's been anywhere near it.

I'm afraid I'm more on the fence than I was before.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

3 July 2015
8.09am
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hucko
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How does Drew Max having authenticated it make it less likely to be authentic? 

3 July 2015
8.14am
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hucko
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What I'm saying is this: If an authentic piece is authenticated by Drew Max, does that make it less authentic?

3 July 2015
11.33am
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Ron Nasty
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It doesn't make an authentic item any less authentic, however it does throw up questions and doubts.

The all-important thing with any item is its provenance, its history, and if part of its history is an authentication by an "expert" with a questionable reputation, and who it is said of that many major American auction houses will no longer accept any item based on an authentication by him, that damages its provenance. I am not American, and know little of this individual, and though I do not know if the accusations against him are true (authenticating autographed baseballs as genuine when the baseball was manufactured after the person who supposedly signed them had died, authenticating facsimile signatures of people like FDR as genuine, authenticating for money items that others had already said were fakes in court documents), having his name attached to the item does damage its provenance.

Lennon autographs are valuable. Around half the value of a complete set of Beatles autographs are made up by the value of John's. A good John letter is worth much more than a simple autograph. There are fakes out there.

No valuer worth their salt will authenticate an item based on a photograph alone, they will want to see it in person, they will want to know as much of its history as possible. If it is an item that has always been in the family, that "Brenda" is your sister, mother or aunt or something, that leans toward it being genuine. If, however, it is an item you bought based on his authentication, that has to throw up questions because of the accusations against him.

As I said in my first response, there are things that I do not like about it, and with a questionable expert involved, and without knowing more of its all-important provenance, that has to throw more doubt on it.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

3 July 2015
2.07pm
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hucko
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Thank you R. Nasty...

I appreciate your replies and opinions.

FYI...I didn't purchase this piece based on the Drew Max authentication.  I did so only after studying just the signature for a very long time, but I am no forensic document examiner.

Is there a reputable firm you could recommend to whom I could ship this piece for authentication? Anyone reputable to whom I could pay a fee for an initial analysis based on just the photo?

Thanks again...

Hucko

3 July 2015
2.17pm
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hucko
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R. Nasty,

No need to reply...I will use your auction house recommendations from your earlier post.  Thanks!!

I am still interested in any other opinions from anyone who cares to contribute to the discussion.

Hucko

3 July 2015
5.40pm
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hucko
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Would anyone be interested in purchasing this? I know it depends on the authenticity, but to me it's obvious it is real.

3 July 2015
5.43pm
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hucko
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Crap! Damned computer posted that before I was finished.  What I meant to ask was whether anyone would be interested in this letter once authenticated...

Thanks...

3 July 2015
6.22pm
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Ron Nasty
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If one of the auction houses I have previously mentioned verified its authenticity, then they would be the best people to sell it on as part of one of their music memorabilia sales. In the UK, if authenticated, it would be given an auction estimate of between £5,000 and £10,000 (no idea what that is in dollars), and would be expected to smash through the upper end. I doubt anybody here would be able to, or would want to offer you, anywhere near that even were it properly authenticated. You either have something that is very valuable that should be auctioned to get its top price, or a piece of paper that is worthless.

I do know we have a big collector among the forum members, and I also feel confident enough to say he'd want to see market reaction before he even considered it. I do hope you didn't spend too much on it, though if you didn't, that would be another pointer to it not being genuine.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

3 July 2015
6.58pm
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hucko
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Thanks again R. Nasty.  I am interested in reading the opinion of a serious collector.  I thought I was a serious collector until now...  lol

3 July 2015
7.03pm
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hucko
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It's actually sort of obvious to me this piece is real.  There is no question about it.

3 July 2015
7.15pm
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hucko
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I also have a handwritten letter by Paul McCartney to Mal Evans when he was in hospital after a minor car accident.  Would that be a valuable piece to anyone? 

4 July 2015
11.00am
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hucko
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Seriously...anyone like to see a handwritten letter by Paul to a roady in the '60s?

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