October 12, 2009

Offbeat

The Don's stylish signature

Akhila Ranganna

Few could match Sir Donald Bradman’s batting but it looks like his signature - as valuable, in monetary terms, on the auction floor - is far easier to copy. Some signatures of The Don sold by former England cricketer Dermott Reeve, who once owned a memorabilia shop, are under scrutiny by the Bradman Foundation because they are deemed too messy to be genuine. Bradman “was a very careful writer; he had beautiful handwriting”, the Bradman Museum’s marketing manager Joanne Crowley told AFP , so the "messy" signatures are being checked by a leading expert. "This is not about trying to discredit Mr Reeve, it's about trying to protect Sir Donald Bradman's name and intellectual property." Unreliable Bradman memorabilia was becoming prolific, even in shops near the museum in Bowral, Bradman's hometown near Sydney. "It's like a Louis Vuitton handbag or a Gucci wallet - there are knock-offs everywhere," she said.

Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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