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I offer a Quick Opinion service for signed items via my own site, and recently i have been getting an increasing number of requests to check christmas cards signed by Prince Charles and Diana, and Queen Elizabeth and PrincePhillip. In almost every case these items contain Autopen signed signatures but are being sold as genuine. In some cases the sellers (who are mainly selling as dealers) are carefull in their descriptions, often stating they are signed in ink, but not making it clear they are signed in ink using a pen but done by a machine and not by a real person! Always worth reading between the lines!
Sometimes the sellers are offering cards sent to them but are not aware of the Autopen machine, and because they are signed in ink, and they worked for the royal household, they are assuming they are authenticly signed, and will simply not accept that they are in fact signed by machine.
As a rough guide, if they have no inscription, then they will be most likely Autopen. So beware, as an Autopen signed card has far less value than a genuine item, but they are so good only an expert can tell the difference.
It would simply not be possible for the Queen etc to sign all the items that go out every day to those whose birthday is 100 etc. In fact the Royal household employs 7 full time staff simply to handle the mail that goes out on a daily basis!
Garry King. Autografica.co.uk