Collecting photos: Original - reproduction - copy - fake


Jun 6, 2009
Thanks Received
Here's a very informative site on collecting photos:

Scroll down to the buttom of each page to go to the next.

The site belongs to Robert Noss, an acknowledged expert on Third Reich photos, and active member of WAF.


"Collecting of original photographs has become very popular within the last 10 years. When I started my collection, about 20 years ago, there were not many fakes around and those which were on the market, could be easily detected as modern reprints of original negatives or duplicates of original photos. With the use of the internet and the growing number of collectors all over the world, more and more fakes came on the market.

Prices of original photos increased, especially those of highly decorated soldiers, rare tanks and warbirds, etc. etc.

This field of collecting has become a lucrative field for forgery today.

On these pages, I would like to give a few examples and hopefully some useful hints, how to detect "good" from "bad".

This little course is far from being complete. It is meant to be a guideline for new collectors, but it can not replace years and years of experience."

This is very intrestering,if a photo is made from an original negative why can it not be seen as an original photo? If there can be only one photo it would be priceless.Posters and postcards and other paper are all around, there are fakes and there are originals,with postcards you have the postmark stamp and message so the true date can be determined,posters are about the same, a peice of paper that is 70 years old will most times look like it.For photos it is a hard call,I would say if the photo is made from an original negative I would say it is real ,on the other hand a photo of a photo is worthless.
It depends on when the photo was processed from the negative .
I don't think that that matters,as long as the photo comes from an original negative,I don't see what the harm would be.Lets say that the American photographer Ansel Adams took a picture of a mountain,there would be one print off the negative then all the other prints would be numbered to a pre determined amount then the negative would be destroyed.That is when the big bucks kick in.
Try this it to German Knights Cross winners autographs .
What would be a more valueable autograph ..... one that was signed during the war or one rthat was signed post war like in the 1970s ?
As long as it is the real person why would it matter.Would you turn down a singend Micky Manttle baseball if it were singed after he retried?I would not.I think photos are hard to put values on unless it was in the form of a wartime photo album,with discriptions.I remember reading about a photo album that was found in Germany it was from Dachau,had photos of Mengele,and Hoess at partys and picnics with discripions of who and what they were doing.I read that it is some of the only pictures of Mengele that were taken during the war.Now that would be worth something.
I'm with operaman to some degree on this. I have a few post war signed photos from Ritterkreuzträger. To me, they are just as valuable as one which was signed during the war. I understand a wartime signed photo is rarer and soforth, but that doesn't concern me in this instance. A postwar signed photo is still being signed by the man who was there and fought and did all those things, and time has not lessened or diminished that one little bit. But if it was another kind of photo, I'd want it to be from the actual time, not a post war print. Hypocritical? Yeah I guess so, I am not going to try and hide that.
now, thats what I call informative linking....

thanks for the post henrik I'm saving this one in the favorites!
I would have to win the Euromillions before I would consider trying to collect pricey memorabilia. There are so many merchants out there that I fear things which rightfully belong in a museum for all to cherish are instead scattered to the four winds.