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Farmer Giles of Ham - Signed "Pearl from Chris"
By Stu
Shirrif (Moderator)

Farmer Giles of Ham - Signed "Pearl from Chris"

May 29 (edited)

Farmer Giles of Ham

~Original tan cloth, blue lettering to spine and dragon to front board. Original pictorial dustwrapper in brown and blue. Dustwrapper spine darkened, with minor chipping to base and top, and two small stains to front of dustwrapper, but dustwrapper protected in removable clear plastic sleeve. Pictorial endpapers in blue on white dragon design. Very minor foxing to top edges. Colour pictorial frontis in blue and brown. Inscription to front endpage by Christopher Tolkien: 'Pearl from Chris. Christmas 1967'. Size: 80pp. Bookseller Inventory # MM2061

https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookD ... p=snippet-_-srp1-_-title1
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May 29

Khamûl wrote:
Interesting or a wonder?

Christopher signing one of his father's books "Chris" while Tolkien was still alive? Hmm...


Yep, I wasn't sure which it should really go under, tbh. Without some other info, it could plausibly be a gift from anyone. I wouldn't buy it personally.
May 29
So, this is the second "Pearl from Chris" item that I've seen (the other is now in private hands — and moreover I was able to see the actual inscription, unlike this listing). The first item also had an inscription in Quenya in tengwar with roman transcription. Both had features that could not have been known in the 1960s except by Tolkien and his close circle; but that could be known by a (much later) reader of Vinyar Tengwar and Parma Eldalamberon (or by an attentive researcher of the various sites that rifle through each VT and PE and put their contents online).

I asked Christopher about this, and he firmly denied that it was his handwriting, or that he knew any such "Pearl".

Carl
May 30

Aelfwine wrote:
So, this is the second "Pearl from Chris" item that I've seen (the other is now in private hands — and moreover I was able to see the actual inscription, unlike this listing). The first item also had an inscription in Quenya in tengwar with roman transcription. Both had features that could not have been known in the 1960s except by Tolkien and his close circle; but that could be known by a (much later) reader of Vinyar Tengwar and Parma Eldalamberon (or by an attentive researcher of the various sites that rifle through each VT and PE and put their contents online).

I asked Christopher about this, and he firmly denied that it was his handwriting, or that he knew any such "Pearl".

Carl


So do we think deliberate fakery or simply that the inscription relates to a completely different "Chris" (and bookseller wishful thinking is involved)?
May 30
If it's not Christopher Tolkien, then yes, deliberate fakery (given the year 1968 stated in the inscription of the first such item I saw), unless there is some other "Chris" who had close access to J.R.R. Tolkien and his languages in 1968.
May 30

Aelfwine wrote:
If it's not Christopher Tolkien, then yes, deliberate fakery (given the year 1968 stated in the inscription of the first such item I saw), unless there is some other "Chris" who had close access to J.R.R. Tolkien and his languages in 1968.


Yep, makes sense. The 1968 is the killer, I guess.
May 30
Hi all,
I showed the book to Catherine McIlwaine last week when she looked at my archive,,she looked closely at the inscription and for her it is definitely Christopher's calligraphy and signature in those years.
I bought the book because I know Oxford's St. Philip's Books very well, a well-known Catholic bookstore. From them I bought other books including an edition of the Letters of John Henry Newman with a dedication and signature of Father Francis Xavier Morgan.

Is it likely that Christopher simply does not remember?

In the end it doesn't really matter to me, I paid the book a very reasonable amount and I don't intend to sell it (I buy but I don't sell!). I will keep it on the shelf of signed books.

P.S.
The book now on sale was proposed to me by them when I went to Oxford last year. But I decided not to buy it because one was enough for me.
The fourth photo is of the book for sale.
Tolkieniano

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May 30

Tolkieniano wrote:
Hi all,
I showed the book to Catherine McIlwaine last week when she looked at my archive,,she looked closely at the inscription and for her it is definitely Christopher's calligraphy and signature in those years.
I bought the book because I know Oxford's St. Philip's Books very well, a well-known Catholic bookstore. From them I bought other books including an edition of the Letters of John Henry Newman with a dedication and signature of Father Francis Xavier Morgan.

Is it likely that Christopher simply does not remember?

In the end it doesn't really matter to me, I paid the book a very reasonable amount and I don't intend to sell it (I buy but I don't sell!). I will keep it on the shelf of signed books.

P.S.
The book now on sale was proposed to me by them when I went to Oxford last year. But I decided not to buy it because one was enough for me.
The fourth photo is of the book for sale.
Tolkieniano



Did you get any indication of who Pearl might have been?
May 30
Unfortunately I didn't find anything, and Catherine had no idea who it was. Is it possible that it was a nickname?
May 30

Tolkieniano wrote:
Unfortunately I didn't find anything, and Catherine had no idea who it was. Is it possible that it was a nickname?


I guess so. May well be we will never know the truth with these. Not everyone wants every friendship they have ever had placed in the public domain, of course, even in the case they are genuine. Probably not worth too much speculation unless further evidence makes itself known. I think we have to accept Christopher's assertion that he didn't write them (or the one he was asked about, anyway).
May 30
That bottom signature in blue ink looks really questionable.
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