Man Inherits 80,000 Autographs: 22 Marilyn Monroes, 12 Steve McQueens, Elvis, James Dean, Disney, John Lennon, More

  • David Kuflik showing some of his 80,000 autographs on Fox TV's Amazing Inheritances.
    David Kuflic on Fox Business TV's "Strange Inheritances" with host, Jamie Colby

 

When Microsoft laid-off David Kuflik in 2014 he had lots of time on his hands—and lots of autographs inherited from his dad and aunt. Collected mostly in-person from the 1950s to 2012, the collection spans Marilyn Monroe and Steve McQueen, to Jackie Robinson, Elvis, John Lennon, Steven Spielberg and Tupac Shakur. And many multiples.

It’s an incredible collection.

My father, Harvey Kuflik, and aunt, Rhoda Kuflik, started collecting in-person autographs in New York in the early 1950’s and continued vigorously collecting their whole lives. Harvey passed in 2002 and Rhoda passed in 2012.

Both collected for the love of it and didn’t sell their autographs. Their collections are fully intact and almost all of them were collected in person. My father also acquired a couple smaller autograph collections from his collecting friends in Hollywood.

I collected actively with my father in Hollywood as a kid in the 1980’s. I inherited their collections and after working 17 years at Microsoft, I left my day job and have dedicated the past two years full-time curating this collection.

David has spent 2 years cataloging the 80,000-plus autographs, and he’s starting to sell them. Check out the 164 he sold at RR Auction. He’ll be selling soon through his own web store, too.

Don’t miss David’s Autograph Live discussion about his collection. Members have posted wish lists. And check out the gallery of his collection he just made public: thekuflikcollection.com.

Be careful—don’t drool on your computer.

David Kuflik and his collection are featured in the Fox Business Channel Strange Inheritances episode “Autograph Addicts.”

Official Star Wars Autographs & Photos Now Offered by Lucasfilm, Topps & MLB Division Partnership

Official Star Wars 16×20 framed photo signed by Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. $1,049

Disney’s Lucasfilm, Topps and Major League Baseball’s Authenticators, Inc. subsidiary launched Star Wars Authentics, starwarsauthentics.com, on December 21, offering witnessed autographed photos of Star Wars actors, and official unsigned Star Wars photos. The launch follows the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Authenticators, Inc. and Topps have prior Disney connections. Authenticators is run by Major League Baseball, and Disney just made a billion dollar investment in their BAM Tech subsidiary. Topps is partially owned by Tornante, a company owned by Michael Eisner, the former chairman of Disney.

“We identified a hole in the entertainment industry, a need for certified authentic pieces for the Star Wars brand, and with this collaboration we are able to meet consumer demand. Topps excels in visual arts and printing technologies and we are thrilled to bring our expertise to Star Wars, building upon our trading card and Major League Baseball memorabilia business.” said David Leiner, Topps’ General Manager and Vice President of the North American Sports and Entertainment division. [Read more…]

Kevin Keating & Bill Corcoran Join PSA/DNA as Steve Grad & Brian Sobrero Depart

PSA/DNA, one of the leading third-party autograph authentication services, announced the hiring of two new full-time authenticators on September 30.

Veteran sports autograph dealers Kevin Keating and Bill Corcoran replace PSA/DNA authenticators Steve Grad and Brian Sobrero. Grad and Sobrero gave notice at the end of June and left September 30, reportedly to start a new company in the autograph field. [Read more…]

RR Auction Lawsuit Update: Court Rejects Johnson Attempt to Change Lawsuit

A trial date was set on August 26 for the Michael Johnson v. RR Auction lawsuit, two weeks after an August 12 ruling denying Johnson’s fourth attempt to add allegations of illegal bidding practices. While Johnson’s lawyers claimed in their motion that they spent six months and $50,000 extensively investigating “shill bidding” allegations, they didn’t present any evidence to the court of such practices by RR.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Donna Geck also granted RR’s motion barring Johnson from conducting any further discovery related to “shill bidding,” including taking depositions. [Read more…]

Sgt Peppers Album Autographed by The Beatles Auctioning June 29 at Bonhams

A Sgt Peppers album signed by all four Beatles is being auctioned by Bonhams in Knightsbridge, London on June 29, 2016. 

Band-signed Sgt Peppers albums are very rare and highly desirable. Only 7 to 9 examples are known to exist that are accepted as genuine by leading Beatles autograph experts. The last one sold for more than $179,000 at RR Auction in January 2014.

Not only do the autographs look clearly genuine, the signing history of this album is completely verifiable. In fact, I did just that.

Last week I talked to the consignor of the Sgt. Pepper’s album, Paul Minett, who got the album signed; and two of his friends who were there the June night in 1967 when John, Paul and George signed it (Ringo signed it years later): Gordon Bryce and Lizzie Bravo, one of the legendary “Apple Scruffs.”

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Lizzie since 2010, when she became a member of this site to join a blog we posted on authenticating signed Beatles albums:

Beatles-Signed Abbey Road Albums: What’s Real? What’s Fake?

Paul, Gordon and the album are featured in Lizzie’s amazing new book about her years seeing the Beatles in London from 1967-69, Do Rio a Abbey Road (From Rio to Abbey Road). Currently available only in Portuguese, an English version is in the works.

Paul Minett’s signed Sgt Peppers album featured in Lizzie Bravo’s new book about her days in London following the Beatles, Do Rio a Abbey Road (From Rio to Abbey Road).

John, Paul and George Sign the Sgt Pepper’s Album

I recorded my conversations with Paul, Gordon and Lizzie but these were my first attempts at recording through Skype and they’re taking a lot sound editing. The auction is next Wednesday so I didn’t want to wait any longer to tell you about the album. Here’s what Paul has to say:

“On Thursday, the first of June, 1967, my good friend Gordon and I joined half of Britain, rushing out to buy a copy of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. We never dreamt that within a few weeks we would meet the Beatles and have our photographs taken with them.

Gordon and I were nineteen and on Monday evening the 19th of June, we were walking back to our homes in West London when we were stopped by two American girls, Patricia and Kathy, who wanted to know how to get to Abbey Road Studios. We were heading that way, so it seemed easier to take them there rather than give them directions. One of the best decisions we have ever made. We crossed the legendary zebra crossing and arrived at the studios.

Besides a couple of other fans, there was nobody else around. The four of us decided to stay for a while and wait for any sign that the Beatles might be there. In those days you could simply go through the gates of Abbey Road Studios and right up to the main entrance.

After a while we spotted the recognizable figure of Beatles roadie and friend, Mal Evans. Heartened by this, we stayed on and were rewarded by our first sighting of a Beatle. It was John, simply leaving one of the studios and crossing the corridor, but it was enough to make the wait worthwhile. A little while later Paul, too, crossed the corridor, giving an encouraging wave to us on the doorstep.

Two days later we were back and so were the Beatles. They were mixing rhythm tracks for “All You Need Is Love” in preparation for the “Our World” television link-up to be broadcast live four days later on Sunday 25th June. Word had clearly got round as there were far more people outside the studios that evening and the atmosphere was electric.

Gordon and I brought our copies of Sgt Pepper with us in the hope of getting them signed. We weren’t disappointed. Around ten o’clock John, Paul and George left the building, perfectly happy to sign autographs and pose for photographs. Not only did Gordon and I get our albums signed, but I managed to get several nice photographs.

Unfortunately, Ringo wasn’t in the studio that evening so his signature would have to wait.”

Ringo Signs the Sgt Pepper Album

And wait they did. It was 30 years before Paul was lucky enough to get Ringo’s autograph on his album.

“Finally, for my 50th birthday in 1997, a television producer friend of mine, who knew I had a Sgt Pepper album with John, Paul and George’s signatures, said “I’ve got a birthday present for you. Terry Oates, Managing Director of Eaton-Oates Music (Ringo’s publishers) is a good chum of mine and has offered to ask Ringo to sign your album.”

I took it into their offices near Sloane Square and sure enough, Ringo signed it.”

I spent more than two wonderful hours listening to Paul and Lizzie talk about those days and Paul’s Sgt Pepper album. Lizzie didn’t actually see Paul and Gordon get their albums signed, but she saw them at Abbey Road Studios the night they did and knew about the albums.

Two days later I enjoyed an equally fascinating 40-minute call with Paul and Gordon, talking about getting the albums signed and life as an up close Beatles fan back in the late 1960s.

The provenance of Paul’s album is rock-solid.

What about Gordon’s Sgt Pepper album, you ask? He lost track of it and most of his mementos from those days long ago, sadly. We can only hope it still exists and he or someone else will find it someday…and convince Ringo to sign it!

Go to the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album’s page at Bonhams to read more about the album and zoom-in for a close-up look. It’s lot 238.

If you don’t plan to bid on it, be sure to share it with all the Beatles collectors you know. It could be many years before another one is available.