Tolkien Collector's Guide
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Aug 3
2020/8/3 17:31:10 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

But you are coming across as telling the rest of us that we should also have your (extremely limited) levels of trust, which exclude 100% of all Tolkien signed books.

Completely agree, except not just 100% of all Tolkien signed books, but everything else as well that he signed, letters, pamphlets, menus, etc.
Aug 3
2020/8/3 18:25:58 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

insurrbution, I think everyone here is trying to help. We are a very "dissecting, analyzing and questioning" group of people and minutiae is our lifeblood.

In general - provenance is king. If the ownership of a book and how/when it got signed can be tracked and the various steps trusted, then the signature can be trusted.

Some things that do not, by themselves, confer "authenticity" to a signature:

  • A "signed by the author" sticker. Can be custom ordered from sticker manufacturers and slapped on any copy of a book. (This is not to say that a reputable bookstore would fake the signature and sticker! But literally the second that book walks out of the store with a happy purchaser, all provenance is lost and the next person who wants to buy that book only has the word of the random person they are talking to - a receipt is easy to come by or fake, a sticker is easy to come by or fake, etc.)


  • A "Certificate of Authenticity". Anyone can make one. A reputable seller will have a return policy with money back guarantee if an item is deemed fake or likely fake by a reputable third party. Most reputable auction houses and ABA/ABAA/ILAB booksellers have such a policy. It's one of the reasons these high end booksellers have higher prices - their knowledge, expertise, and reputation confer value.


I think, in summary, that this particular topic of yours is valuable and good to talk about, but that your posts insurrbution are coming across to many of us as a declaration that unless a signed item matches your personal trust requirements, they are not worth buying by anyone (a statement of fact that the signatures are not trustworthy), when in fact there are well known and respected methods of authenticating and trusting signatures that you do not personally hold to, but many of the rest of us do. Your personal limits of trust are fine for you! But you are coming across as telling the rest of us that we should also have your (extremely limited) levels of trust, which exclude 100% of all Tolkien signed books.

Thank you very much for your well-thought and good-mannered comment. I definitely did not need come off as snippy.

It was never my intent, nor did I ever mean "You should do this, because it's right, because I say so." I was just offering my own personal opinion on the nature of signed items. Which, you've cleared up a great deal for me, so I also thank you for that.
Aug 3
2020/8/3 20:19:32 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
thanks very much for the article on flat signing, Uruloke. Most useful.
Aug 3
2020/8/3 22:37:31 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
(I meant to say "didn't intend to come off as snippy", though what actually got posted still works too!)
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