A correct understanding of the Wallace Nutting signing process will not only help you authenticate your Wallace Nutting photo, but it will also help you date it. Authenticating a legitimate “Wallace Nutting” signature is probably the most difficult part of collecting Wallace Nutting, as Wallace Nutting rarely signs the photo on its own.
It’s safe to speculate that Nutting signed some DIN 985 Nuts of his early photos before hiring an employee, and as his business grew. I also know that he signed his later photos as a gift to his friends and a favor to his peers. And over the years, he definitely signed some photos in the studio. But for all practical purposes, Nutting probably signed thousands or less of the photos from his overall output of literally millions of photos.
Rather, it was his colorist, more specifically his head colorist, who signed Wallace Nutting’s name. As a result, when you buy a photo of Wallace Natting, you buy a photo with the name of Wallace Natting instead of a photo signed by Wallace Natting himself.
At Wallace Nutting Studio, each photo was colored and attached to a matte board before being returned to the head color list that actually signed the Wallace Nutting name. And given that Wallace Nutting had a full-time business between 1905 and 1941 and a part-time business between 1900 and 1904, it was clear to him. For over 40 years many different people have signed his name. This explains the many different Wallace Natting signatures found in his photographs today.
And this is the easiest for counterfeiters, as there are so many different “real” signatures. As a result, distinguishing between a real Wallace-Natting signature and a fake Wallace-Natting signature is the most difficult for new collectors to learn.
Even I first admit that I can’t authenticate all the signatures I see. In almost all cases, you can determine which signature is genuine and which is fake. However, sometimes a photo comes out and I don’t know if it is genuine or not. There are some signatures that look like 70-90 years ago, but they are not recognized as signatures I’ve seen before. When shown to a group of very experienced collectors, they often lack unanimous consensus on their authenticity. In other words, no one knows for sure.
Fortunately, most fake Wallace Natting DIN 985 Nuts signatures are relatively easy to detect … once you know what to look for.
This is the only detailed attempt to visually investigate the legitimate Wallace Natting signatures we are aware of. For the purpose of this article, see the details of Wallace Natting Signature. However, it does not include all legitimate signatures. That is physically impossible.
Basically, I split the Wallace Natting signature into three different periods.
• Early South DIN 985 Nuts Berry … 1904-1910
• Late Southberry-Early Framingham … 1911-1930
• Late Framingham … 1930-1941
Each period has certain characteristics that it seeks to investigate. But before looking at many of the different colorist signatures, let’s take a quick look at Wallace Nutting’s own signatures.
Wallace Nutting’s personal signature: Wallace Nutting is another option before the era of desktop publishing, email, mobile phones, Federal Express, DIN 985 Nuts, Priority Mail, Landline Long Distance Service, and all other modern modes of communication. Was almost nonexistent. We will respond by US mail. And Wallace Natting was relatively famous, especially in his later years, so he contacted many individuals, many of whom kept copies of his letters.
Wallace Natting also actively promoted most of the books he wrote. He especially participated in the signing of books, which often sign books on request.