Tolkien Collector's Guide
Tolkien signature

Tolkien signature

Sep 22, 2008

What do people think to this signature?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dl ... EWAX:IT&item=120308756476

wellinghall
Sep 23, 2008
Hey Wellinghall,

looks pretty good to me.

good price too!!

Dior
Sep 23, 2008
Looks ok to me too.
Sep 23, 2008
The signature looks ok to me, but I must say that this is the first time that I have ever seen his "fan" signature on a scholarly book. He had an "ownership" signature for books in his own library that looked nothing like this.

So the question in my mind is, why would he sign a book like this for a fan? If he didn't have a problem with this, why aren't there more random books (not written by him) signed like this?

Just trying to get some more interesting debate going about this - anyone else seen similar signed books?
Sep 23, 2008
This book is normally part of a multiple volume set of "der grüne heinrich" by gottfried keller. This is volume IV.

As far as I know this is a very strange combination. First because the other volumes are not there, and I have not seen any others before.
The text written in there is not Tolkien's, the authograph looks genuine... it is a late autograph from around 1954 up to 1959, while the book should be about 30 years older.

Tolkien did visit Queen's College at highstreet and did go to eat there once in a while, but why would he sign volume IV under a text of someone else?

The signature itself has some issues as well. First the three dots are pointing in the wrong direction, normally Tolkien's autographs always flows towards the rights and the dots are either 'dots' or tend to move towards the right (starting with the dot and twisting a little towards the right). The 'ien' also shows a strange curl backwords in the n, which most of the time shows up in forgeries because of a stop there. Tolkien would always write (in this period autographs) the 'ien' in one vertical movement without a stop and the n would always be fast.

The line under the autograph is kind of tricky as well, since Tolkien would start up right and move backwords, ending in a tip at the end. Why does it look to do exactly the opposite. I should have a close-up really to tell you if it is genuine or fake.

Rowns, Tolkien has signed several books from his library with this pre-1966 signature, which begins to flow but is not his final signature. It is his autograph that would in the end become his flowing one he used for singing the Tolkien related books. So, that is not an issue here.

I'm very sceptic about this signature and must conclude that either it is a very good fake (the JRR and the Tolk are perfect), and if a fake it is a copy of a fascimile signature, or it is a genuine signature... and Tolkien did not feel like signing the book (and this resulted in the tiny flaws in the autograph).

Ok this is my opinion, if I had better close-ups I would be able to tell more.
Sep 23, 2008
I do not know about the signature but I think as has been pointed out before,

"happy to sell cheap cos no provenance"

Provenance is becoming vital with Tolkien signatures
Sep 23, 2008
i did not bid on the book because of that... without provenance a book that confuses me so much is not worth a lot. Especially if you ever wish to re-sell it and hold up your credibility as a seller.
Sep 23, 2008
thanks for the input, Beren, and I agree with you about not wanting to bid on this particular book.

Just because this thread will long outlast the eBay auction, I am including the image of the signature here for posterity.

1_48d95bf36781f.jpg 300X400 px
Sep 24, 2008
This doesn't seem either suspect or mysterious to me. The signature looks authentic (and I've seen a few); and if someone were going to forge a signature, why do it on a book like this, instead of something written by Tolkien?

It looks to me like the owner of this book encountered Tolkien at the college, had this book in hand, and asked him for his autograph.

--
Carl F. Hostetter
Sep 24, 2008
This is probably what happened...
Sep 24, 2008
Two more examples of tolkien's signature have just appeared on ABE books. A very good comparison to this book in my opinion.

First ABEBooks item

Secod ABEBooks item

Dior
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