The Charlton Heston autograph in your collection was probably signed by a secretary.
I know the first step is denial... I've been through it myself. But let's put aside wishful thinking and look at the evidence.
For several years some collectors have speculated that Charlton Heston used a secretary for through-the-mail requests. This has been met with some doubt. The analysis I saw was less than convincing because it primarily compared old signatures to new, and it focused on differences in "Heston," which were very difficult to clearly discern. The doubt was also fueled by Mr. Heston himself who claimed on several occasions to personally respond to mail requests.
But, these suspicious collectors were on to something. And, I believe I have found the definitive "tell." It is in the first name. And once you see it, it is as clear as a bell.
Photographs and other memorabilia sent to Mr. Heston's office were signed by a secretary. However, Mr. Heston did authentically sign books through-the-mail.
Real vs. Secretary
In authentic signatures, the R in "Charlton" is distinctly a lowercase "r" and less than half the height of the L. The first four letters are clearly "Char."
In secretarial signatures, the R looks much more like a lowercase "l" and is about the same height as the L. So, the first four letters appear to be "Chall."
We'll start with books that were signed in-person. Note the distinct lowercase "r" and the R is much smaller in height than the L.
|Mr. Heston at a book signing. Note the distinct R.|
Image by Mr & Mrs Scruples
|Easton Press edition of Beijing Diary|
|Easton Press edition of In the Arena|