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Re: Tolkien signature
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Christina and I haven't had a reply from Bloomsbury. Trotter, were you able to go see them? I'm not sure whose responsibility this is: Bloomsbury are acting as agent for the seller, and eBay are only a conduit for Bloomsbury to attract bids. Let the buyer beware! Though a sale at auction of a forgery must reflect badly on the auctioneer, especially if there has been warning of possible fraud.

Wayne

Posted on: 2008/10/11 10:58


Re: BOOK COLLECTING: Moving Your Collection!
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Well done, Khamul. Your method was almost the same as we used at the library I work for, to move our collections into temporary quarters (10%) or offsite storage (90%). Since these are worth about $300 million, we had to take a lot of care, and for security's sake packed most of our stuff ourselves. All books that could fit into a standard record storage carton (aka banker's box, knock-up box) went that way, cushioned on all sides by bubblewrap and with more bubblewrap to fill gaps. We had enough boxes (hundreds of them) that we ordered custom-sized and -perforated bubblewrap so that we could avoid a lot of cutting. For the carton, we chose a heavy-duty archival type from the Hollinger Corp. -- the ordinary boxes from Staples or the like are too weak -- sealed it with duct tape, and marked a tracking code on the end. Books that wouldn't fit in the box were wrapped individually in heavy acid-free paper. We didn't move the boxes etc. ourselves, but had a specialist library mover to do the job, one with an extremely good reputation for taking care (which they did, much in contrast to a move of furniture we then contracted with an ordinary, local firm to do). Our rule too was not to stack cartons more than three high.

When Christina moved to the U.S. from London, she had almost no furniture but a lot of books (about 6,000 volumes), so it made sense to hire a professional book packer -- someone who provided the service to dealers at antiquarian book fairs -- rather than a regular removals firm. This person (and assorted relatives) made short work of it, packing most of Christina's books just as they were, in standard heavy-duty moving boxes with bubblewrap and corrugated sheets for cushioning. But for more valuable books we had the packer wrap them individually in heavy paper before putting them in boxes. The man also arranged for the overseas shipping, customs, etc. When the books arrived (in their own huge shipping container) it was the end of October, and we felt it safe to store them temporarily in our garage, which amounted to cold, dry storage. But come spring, with warming weather, we thought it best to bring them inside, away from the danger of condensation within the boxes. Not that we had a lot of room, as I had about 5,000 volumes myself at the time.

Wayne

Posted on: 2008/10/8 19:18


Re: Tolkien signature
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To back up a couple of posts: Carl, you're absolutely right. I had noticed the "moon-lather" point myself, but was too tired to follow it up yesterday around 11:00, after a long drive during the day and an hour and a half of presidential debate in the evening.

Christina and I transcribed the real letter by Tolkien to Jennifer Paxman (i.e. Brookes-Smith) at Christie's in 2003, and our notes say that Tolkien correctly wrote "moon-letter".

Wayne

Posted on: 2008/10/8 18:49


Re: Tolkien signature
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Christina and I also e-mailed the auction house, last night, pointing them to the Maggs and ABE pages, but have not had a reply.

Wayne

Posted on: 2008/10/8 12:27


Re: Tolkien signature
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To take this discussion further, another example of evidently the same questionable typewriting as the pieces on abebooks, with a variant of the same signature, and again only (as it appears) part of a letter, has been listed for sale at auction on 16 October; see http://www.bloomsburyauctions.com/detail/664/246.0. The same lot is also on eBay. This piece is clearly made up of extracts, occasionally with slight twists, from Tolkien's (autograph) letter to Jennifer Paxman of 26 September 1947, most recently sold by Maggs Bros. Its text is still available at http://www.maggs.com/title/AU4148.asp. Since it seems inconceivable that Tolkien either typed (and signed as if for transmittal) a variant of his letter to Miss Paxman before writing a fuller version in manuscript, or wrote (and typed with atypical clumsiness) nearly the same words to someone else who would be personally familiar with "Aunt Jane", the authenticity of the new item has to be called into question.

(Jennifer Paxman is the daughter of Colin Brookes-Smith, whose family had a close relationship with Tolkien's Aunt Jane Neave. Tolkien signed his letters to her "Ronald Tolkien" or "Uncle Ronald".)

Wayne

Posted on: 2008/10/7 20:33



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