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Re: Tolkien Signatures on eBay???

Subject: Re: Tolkien Signatures on eBay???
by Khamûl on 2010/3/26 11:59:26

This whole auction listing really annoys me.

If the seller would spend more time talking about the book in question (this information is buried away at the bottom of the listing), and less time waffling a whole load of garbage about how, apparently, J. R. R. and Christopher never got on; along with much other peripheral rubbish about the books genesis --then the auction would have more success & would be viewed with less suspicion by this collector.

There are a number of oddities, biographical detail aside --none of them raising any particular doubts as to authenticity.

Firstly garm --nice story. You have one. Neil Holford (I'm sure he won't mind me saying) has a copy with similar pasted in bookplate. So these aren't unheard of. But the '1 of 200' limitation: I have asked the seller to confirm where this piece of information has come from. I doubt, like laurel, that 200 of these were ever signed, as they simply do not come up enough to suggest there are that many copies kicking around. I think this is a number plucked from the known facts regarding the CoH and Metheun Silmarillion releases. The seller would have been better not stating this.

The other statements suggesting Christopher attended the launch, but didn't flat sign --has anyone here ever heard any of this before? I have asked around a few times about when & where any launch was, and whether anyone can confirm if Christopher did, or did not, attend.

Nigel Sustins, of Church House Books, had some sort of Silmarillion launch back at publication time: Priscilla, Carpenter, and Rayner Unwin all attended --they signed his copy. I'm pretty sure this was right at publication time, or thereabouts --but Christopher did not attend. Not that this means much, but I always guessed he never attended any (public) launch.

Either way, if he was there (as this seller claims) why on earth would he not flat sign books, and only sign these bookplates? Also, Christopher did flat sign some copies for GA&U staff --someone else, besides me, has a copy (as it has been discussed on this forum); the providence was good --it was accompanied by an original typed note to the ex-GA&U employee stating that she would have to pay £2.48 for her signed copy. (Bargain!)

And, to one last point, why does the book (like some other items we've seen lately) only have a copy of the letter? Why on earth would someone sell this book and keep the old letter. I struggle to see why/how these became separated. (Understandable if the original letter was from Christopher or something; and was an item of worth in its own right.)

BH