If the sports memorabilia industry had a Mount Rushmore, James J. Spence, Jr., the Godfather of autograph authentication and founder of JSA (James Spence Authentication), would undoubtedly make the final cut. So it goes without saying that it was a major thrill to host Mr. Spence as he and his staff authenticated stack upon stack of historically significant signatures for two days at Steel City Galleries' Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania offices in July.
Although Steel City Galleries has been a JSA authorized dealer since 2008, we have hosted countless on-site visits from their various authenticators over the years, but never the man whose very own signature is the JSA logo. To be able to tell Mr. Spence about our company history, give him a tour of our facility, and listen to his stories from years of working in this business was a experience we will never forget.
Mr. Spence has the universal respect and approval of auctioneers, dealers, and collectors worldwide with his accurate authentication expertise. A third generation autograph collector, his knowledge and exposure has its roots in over thirty years of hobby experience. Spence is a 1982 graduate from Iona College of New York with a double major in International Business and French. In addition, he has certification in Forensic Document examination. World-renowned auction houses including Sotheby’s, eBay, Heritage Auctions, Upper Deck, SCP (CA), Huggins & Scott Auctions, Christie's, Legendary Auctions, Steiner Sports, and virtually every other major auction house in the country employ the services of James Spence to insure the legitimacy of their autographed offerings. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of the Treasury (IRS) have depended on Spence as their sports authentication adviser and asked for his assistance during past investigations. Law enforcement and insurance carriers have placed their trust in Spence to assist in their analysis. In this regard, Mr. Spence has testified as an expert witness on numerous occasions. Dealers have also relied on his knowledge, experience and integrity for some of the highest valued, historically significant and rarest signed artifacts in existence. Recently, Mr. Spence has appeared as an expert authenticator on the reality TV Show, All Star Dealers, appearing on the Discovery and Velocity channels.
Most of the items JSA authenticated are already up for sale and available through www.steelcitygalleries.com, with a few still needing some additional add-ons such as custom framing. If you are interested in having your items authenticated by JSA at our next authentication event (date TBD), please contact us at 724-243-3546 or firstname.lastname@example.org.