Original signatures on prints and originals
(normally pencil drawings) are signed in person by the
signatory. The published prints are physically taken to
the signatory and then signed by them. We often send packs
of prints by courier to our signatories, or take them ourselves
to rendezvous with pilots at air shows and other events.
On other occasions, the artist of the print will take the prints
'on tour', collecting many signatures on a pre-arranged
trip. In the photographs you can see exactly this process
Wilhelm Reinert signing 'Fighter General'.
Graeme Lothian took his print 'Fighter
General' on a trip to Germany, meeting many legendary German
fighter pilots on the way, and obtaining their signature for the
print edition. The photographs show Ernst
Wilhelm Reinert and Erich
Rudorffer signing the prints.
Rudorffer signing 'Fighter General'.
also took with him the original painting, with which he was
photographed with a number of the pilots. If you click on
the painting title above then click the signatures names on that
page you will see more photos from this trip. Since then,
Graeme has returned to Germany with other prints, and has also
been on similar trips around the UK meeting pilots of the RAF
from the Battle of Britain, and soldiers from the SAS.
Graeme Lothian and pilot Erich Rudorffer with the original
painting, 'Fighter General'.
Recently, we have had many original pencil
drawings signed by surviving WW2 pilots and tank Aces,
particularly in Germany. Again, the artwork is taken to
the location of the signatory, and is signed. Here are a
couple of examples of original artwork featuring the original
signatures of people directly connected to the picture.
Carius' - signed by Albert
- Summer 1940' - signed by Gunther
(Our logo is NOT on
the original artwork)
employed in having original signatures on artwork is to have the
desired signatory autograph a blank sheet, to which the artwork
can be added later. Many signatories will not sign a blank
sheet unless they are convinced that it will be used
appropriately. Thankfully, we only deal with the most
reputable signature company in Germany, who the signatories
there are happy to work with, knowing their signature will be
used correctly on an appropriate piece.
there are some very old pieces of paper, featuring the original
signatures of long dead personalities, like for example Billy
Bishop, or the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen. These
are surviving pieces from almost 100 years ago, that were signed
at the time by these individuals (see our special note on the
Red Baron below). Sometimes these are large enough pieces
of paper for artwork to be drawn featuring the person who has
signed the paper. The rarity of such pieces means of
course that the artist does not get a second chance should
anything go wrong in the process of drawing, any mistakes must
be made on practice pieces before the original is worked on!
Note : Manfred von Richthofen. We are often asked how
it is we can possibly have the original signature of Manfred von
Richthofen, the Red Baron, who was killed during the first world
war. Here is the answer we give :
rare signature pages and signature clippings are sourced by one
of the leading German autograph companies on behalf of Cranston
Fine Arts. The majority of the signatures of Manfred von
Richthofen were signed in January - February 1918 on promotional
train journeys across Germany to aid the recruitment by order of
the Kaiser, with the train stopping at most train stations,
where the Red Baron would sign autographs for the large crowds
gathered. On these two, 3-day journeys, it is estimated he
signed between 1500 - 2000 autographs each day. He would also
have signed many hotel guest books along with other top Aces and
on rare occasions you can find two or three of these signatures