Letters from Father Christmas
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Tolkien Collector's Guide
Oct 3, 2008
2008/10/3 0:17:10 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I should have checked chronology, but did not find it at first glance.
I had this mental picture of him wandering around his library, looking for the book amongst the shelves...

(Yes, I know what you were really saying Beren, but I still wanted to share. )
I had exactly the same picture as Rowns (it could easily happen in Beren's library!), even when knowing, like Rowns, that Beren meant something else.
Oct 3, 2008
2008/10/3 10:45:12 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
This has been a fascinating conversation - and all starting from a simple question!

wellinghall
Oct 8, 2008
2008/10/8 3:33:04 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
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
Oct 8, 2008
2008/10/8 16:49:06 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
One might also form the impression that the shorter item on abebooks (the 'Earendel-sentence') bears the same relation to the Maggs description of the Levinson card as the Bloomsbury item does to the Paxman letter ...
Oct 8, 2008
2008/10/8 18:37:48 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I would also submit that the occurrence in the typed "version" of "moon-lather", taken litteratim from the Maggs Bros. transcript, proves that the typed letter is a fraud. "Moon-lather" must be a misreading (by the Maggs transcriber) of "moon-letter" (those familiar with Tolkien's handwriting will not be surprised that someone unfamiliar with it or with _The Hobbit_ would make this mistake), and is certainly not something would ever _type_. (Not to mention all the other typos: Tolkien would _never_ have left so many uncorrected errors in a sent letter.)

Carl
Oct 8, 2008
2008/10/8 18:57:20 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I have emailed the Auction House to express the concerns about this particular item shown in this thread, but as it is 10 minutes from my office, I will go and see them tomorrow to make sure that they are aware of the problems with the item.
Oct 8, 2008
2008/10/8 19:27:15 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
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
Oct 8, 2008
2008/10/8 19:42:54 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
This is very worrysome. I'm going to seek contact, try to find hold of the person who originally showed me the items, and see what he comes up with an explanation. This 'new' letter is very closely linked to the other papers and are probably 'made' by the same person. I'm going to digg into this a little and see what I can come up with.

Also I have seen some of these 'blue pen' autographs before and will digg through my (past sales) archive if I can find any that also can be linked to this case.

I'm glad I handle a policy never to buy typed letters. Since otherwhise I would have ended up buying some of these items a long time ago.

Currently David Miller owns the two abe books singed items, and I wonder if he also holds this letter (but it would surprise me). He can tell me where he bought them and also he should know that he probably bought fakes. The only positive thing is that he recently bought them and there fore must know where from. We must stop this from happening.
Oct 9, 2008
2008/10/9 1:40:03 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I have been gathering images of Tolkien's unpublished and uncollected letters for a couple years now. The letter in question on Maggs, although I do not have the whole letter, for what it's worth, I have two pages from the original, which I can post, if anyone thinks this would be useful. I do not have the "moon-lather" page, unfortunately. I will be e-mailing the person that I obtained one of the images from to try to get a copy of the rest of the letter. (The other image I have was scanned from an auction catalog.) If these items are indeed counterfeit, as many of you seem to believe, I agree with Beren. "We must stop this from happening."

Josh
Oct 9, 2008
2008/10/9 1:49:48 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
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
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