Tolkien Collector's Guide

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May 30, 2019
2019/5/30 7:03:16 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

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, 2019
2019/5/30 7:03:21 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
That bottom signature in blue ink looks really questionable.
May 30, 2019
2019/5/30 7:06:03 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Jlong wrote:
That bottom signature in blue ink looks really questionable.

It does, but I feel sure I have seen a similar one attributed to CT sometime in the past (and a few years back).
May 30, 2019
2019/5/30 7:11:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I'm sorry, but if it was an emphatic "no" from Christopher himself (after being shown it) then I think it's not a genuine Christopher Tolkien signature. Pearl is not a very common name (& it's a Christmas inscription); and unless we're underestimating how many Tolkien books Christopher was inscribing/signing while his father was alive (for him to forget something like this), then the only obvious conclusion is this is another Chris or deliberate fake.

The second one looks pretty suspect.
May 30, 2019
2019/5/30 7:24:26 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Khamûl wrote:
I'm sorry, but if it was an emphatic "no" from Christopher himself (after being shown it) then I think it's not a genuine Christopher Tolkien signature. Pearl is not a very common name (& it's a Christmas inscription); and unless we're underestimating how many Tolkien books Christopher was inscribing/signing while his father was alive (for him to forget something like this), then the only obvious conclusion is this is another Chris or deliberate fake.

The second one looks pretty suspect.

Agreed. At the end of the day, if CT says he didn't write them, we have to accept that.
May 30, 2019
2019/5/30 7:54:52 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I also agree that Chris has the last word but I stress that the Quenya inscription in tengwar is not wrong and that in that form it has never been seen before. Only a few "forgers" could write it that way. If so, why not put Tolkien's father's signature and sell it for thousands of dollars? Why sign Chris and not JRRT?
I didn't pay much for the book and I'll keep it anyway.
May 30, 2019 (edited)
2019/5/30 13:55:55 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
So, now that this has been shown, I'll say that when I first saw it I thought it was legit too — and would have snapped it up in a heartbeat had I seen it for sale. The handwriting, while different from later exemplars that I have seen (and I've seen plenty!) is reminiscent of Christopher's (if more steadfastly upright than his later script); but I have nothing of that period to compare it with. It remains, however, that Christopher flatly denies it is his.

It is of course nonetheless possible that Christopher is mistaken. I'm sure that if I came across something I wrote by hand even 30 years ago, I might not recognize it as mine. And as Oronzo notes, it would be an odd thing to forge, and the forger would further have to have an uncommonly thorough knowledge of Quenya and of its rendering in tengwar.
May 30, 2019
2019/5/30 15:19:18 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
A question, has anyone seen an authenticated Christopher Tolkien signature, where he signed as Chris?

I have only ever seen signatures using his full first name Christopher or his initials.
May 30, 2019
2019/5/30 19:36:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I've seen a couple of letters to family members dated 1970, both signed Christopher.
Not a great deal of similarity with the handwriting on the inscribed pages unfortunately.
May 30, 2019
2019/5/30 20:44:57 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
From the Seller:

Hi Stu,

Pearl's widower told me. I will need to ask him to write something in confirmation.

Best wishes,

Christopher Zealley

-----Original Message-----
From: AbeBooks <inquiries@abebooks.com>
Sent: 30 May 2019 02:35
To: St Philip's Books <sales@stphilipsbooks.co.uk>
Subject: AbeBooks Customer Inquiry: Title: Farmer Giles of Ham. Embellished by Pauline Diana Baynes. PRESENTATION COPY SIGNED BY CHRISTOPHER TOLKIEN

AbeBooks has received the following inquiry.

The following inquiry was provided by this customer: Hi, just wondering what makes you think the "Chris" in the inscription is Christopher Tolkien?
Thanks,
Stu
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