We refer to our previous article on this site dated November 1st.  David Hunt of hunt Auctions was notified by several experrts, well in advaance of the closing date of the auction that his Lot #173, was not genuine.  The item was on a generic slip cut away from a document. According to Dave Hunt and his team of experts the item was described as such: "Exceedingly rare Mike 'King' Kelly autograph......an exceptional rarity with the offered example being the first which we can recall handling and is one of perhaps a dozen known.  Includes full LOAs from PSA/DNA and JSA and 2007 dated LOA from Kevin Keating.  Estimated Price Range (15,000-$25,000)."

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I sent David Hunt the following emai as a courtesy.

From: skoschal@aol.com [mailto:skoschal@aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 31, 2020 1:50 PM
To: INFO@HUNTAUCTIONS.COM
Subject: Auction, November 14,2000, Lot #173, M.J. "King" Kelly Autograph

 Please be advised three professional autograph dealers have examined the "scan" of Lot 173, M.J. Kelly autograph on a generic partial form. The signature is clearly a well documented forgery.  There are 6 points in this signature that indicate this was not signed by M.J. Kelly, not to mention its overall appearance. This forgery is discussed in a book on autographs of Baseball Hall of Fame members published back in 2012. This email is sent to you as a courtesy and to ensure only genuine autographs are sold in this industry.

Stephen Koschal

www.stephenkoschal.com

 The following is the reply from David Hunt.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Hunt <davehunt@huntauctions.com>
To: skoschal@aol.com
Sent: Mon, Nov 2, 2020 5:24 am
Subject: RE: Auction, November 14,2000, Lot #173, M.J. "King" Kelly Autograph

Stephen,

 Thank you for your feedback and certainly we will take a look into the concern.  I appreciate very much in you personally identifying yourself in expressing your opinion as in most cases individuals  tend to hide behind anonymity.  At this juncture we feel very comfortable with the signature but as always will fully re-examine it in accordance with our full guarantee as offered with everything we have sold over the last 30 years. If you have any more specific information to share please of course feel free to do so.

 Best Regards,]Dave

 David Hunt, President

Hunt Auctions

256 Welsh Pool Rd.

Exton, PA 19341

 

Underlined Dave Hunt comes back with he feels very comfortable with the signature.  He asks for more specific information...

The three experts are not on the payroll of Hunt Auctions.  They are also not in the business of teaching Dave Hunt how to authenticate autographs. The original email was jsust sent as a courtesy to keep the hobby free of forgeries.

The following is a partial portion of an email from David Hunt.

 

V----Original Message-----
From: Dave Hunt <davehunt@huntauctions.com>
To: skoschal@aol.com
Sent: Tue, Nov 17, 2020 3:40 pm
Subject: RE: Auction, November 14,2000, Lot #173, M.J. "King" Kelly Autograph

Stephen,
 
Respectfully, I am offended by you assumption. There was another inquiry (in addition to yours) that was done with a proper amount of respect and intention to which we thoroughly researched.  After completion of the investigation we felt comfortable with the representation. I also informed the owner to make sure he was fully aware of the inquiry. I am extremely proud of our reputation within this industry regarding our integrity that is second to none, period. For you to allege otherwise without any more than a briefly relayed opinion and no supplemental information or knowledge of the additional process we engaged within is in my opinion misguided, at best.
 
Regards,
Dave
 
David Hunt, President
 
David Hunt is now offended by those attempting to help him maintain a reputation. He admits he held a "complete investigation" and feels comfortable with the results that the signature is genuine.  Be reminded this is a well known and documented forgery known by the professionals in the hobby of sports collecting.  Apparently his thee experts who isssued COA's are not in the loop. 
Hunt continues that he is proud of his reputation within this industry regarding his INTEGRITY THAT IS SECOND TO NONE, PERIOD.  Then the insult from Hunt stating he was given by multile experts a briefly relayed opinion  or KNOWLEDGE OF THE ADITIONAL PROCESS WE ENGAGED.....
 
Mr Hunt has three of his own "experts" offerrings opinions about a signature he now stands by.  The original 3 opinions and now supposedly having an additional process...
 
Who is kidding who here?  We are discussing a common forgery well know to genuine experts.  Everyone in this hobby who authenticates autographs should have the Bible on Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs by award winning author Ron Keurajian.
On page 150 Keurajian clearly states in part: "Several years ago, likely in the 1960's, a small group of forgeries entered the market. The forgeries are usually found on album pages or signatures removed from documents. These forgeries are signed 'M.J. Kelly' but unlike thegenuine signature the 'y' differs greatly. On the capital 'K' of the last name,, the forger puts a curl at the bottom of the letter. These forgeries easily stand out..." 
 
Go back to the illustration at the beginning of this story.  Does Ron Keurajian describe this specific forgery?
 
This Hall of Fame Bible was publised in 2012, ten years ago  How far behing are Mr. Hunt's experts in maintaing a reference library in a subject they so strongly support?  EMBARRASSING TO SAY THE LEAST, OR IS ONE JUST COVERING EACH OTHERS BACK?
 
This story is not one of a kind.  Matter of fact it is quite common with many auction houses. They talk big about reputation and integrity but is usually ends with the almighty dollar winning the duel.
 
This horrific item sold for $23,000.  Another piece of junk back in the hobby to a consumer trusting a well written description, but not knowing the players.
 
Lesson to all readers: "You can't fake integrity."

 

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