Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Worst Signed Item.... Ever!

eBay item 2208501716 (Ends Dec-11-03 10:19:55 PST) - Star Trek Next Generation Tie SIGNED by CAST

Star Trek Next Generation Tie SIGNED by CAST.

This has to take the cake for the cheesiest and worst signed item ever offered for sale.

'Nuff said.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Will Space Autographs Come Down?

In one of the astronaut collecting listgroups, a member theorized that space autographs will get even more valuable over time as space exploration advances. Here are my thoughts:

I think there will always be a "bump" when current events warrant increased attention, and a Mars mission (and maybe even the Chinese mission) will draw huge interest to all space pioneers.

Someone used the Columbus and Charles Lindberg example with which I agree. But who remembers the 2nd guy to cross the Atlantic solo and when is the last time you thought to look for his autograph?

In the long run, I feel that only a handful of space pioneers will continue to draw interest except for the most devoted die-hards. In 50 years, there be interest in Gagarin, Shepard, and Armstrong. But I'm afraid that Alan Bean, Scott Carpenter, Owen Garriott, et al. will settle under the dust of time and history. Most of our archivally stored SPs will end up in estate sales or on dealer tables next to the shoebox full of silent film star postcards.

Hopefully I'll still be around to prove myself correct.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Auction House Rant

Unfortunately, for some autograph auction houses, there seems to be no drive to be a hallmark of authenticity, reliability, service and ethics.

They seem to think they deserve praise and respect simply because they exist, and do us the favor of conducting an auction.

One auction house that specializes in space and aviation had mass complaints regarding a recent auction that had numerous mistakes, forgeries, Autopens and items of questionable provenance. Yet, they plod on, clumsily explaining everything away and pointing fingers at everyone but themselves.

Where is their shame? Where is there sense of wanting to be good?

This is what happens when there is institutional arrogance and no competition other than eBay. Luckily for this specific auction house, simply existing is good enough. The sycophants and fanboys will patronize them anyway, and frankly, these people will get what they deserve -- bad service and spotty material.

Until collectors demand better, what we'll get is half-ass auction houses and snake oil salesmen who enter and exit the hobby like thieves in the night.

Rant over.