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Jim Clark "Signed" Book on Ebay


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#1 FastReader

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 09:42

I found this item on Ebay today. Spot the obvious error that says the Jim Clark signature is a fake:

 

https://www.ebay.co....QEAAOSwJGpjHQ04

 

The trouble is, it's virtually impossible to report Ebay sellers who you suspect of selling fake autographed items. Caveat emptor I suppose.



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#2 Jahn1234567890

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 10:04

Nice to see they put the effort in... Given that the book was first published in 1965 and the autograph is signed with 1962 makes it all the more legit.  :rotfl:



#3 Sterzo

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 11:58

It's a sad truth that you can't trust the authenticity of any autograph.

Yours sincerely,

Napoleon



#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 12:22

Years ago, somebody offered a copy of Neil Ewart's biography of Graham Hill on eBay - supposedly signed by Graham Hill. Signed copies of Life at the Limit are quite common, but considering Ewart's book was completed only days before Graham's death and published posthumously, with the final chapter written by Bette ...



#5 D-Type

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 12:26

It's a sad truth that you can't trust the authenticity of any autograph.

Yours sincerely,

Napoleon

Indeed!  In her book Ciao Stirling, Valerie Pirie admits she became a dab hand at reproducing Stirling's Autograph and would spend spare moments signing loads of photos.
An interesting case is Mike Hawthorn's Champion Year, which was published posthumously.  The publishers printed a facsimile of his autograph on the title page.  I have seen vendors advertising the book as "Autographed"


Edited by D-Type, 12 September 2022 - 14:43.


#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 12:47

A few weeks ago the assistant manager of the charity shop where I volunteer came to me with a Bay City Rollers LP - "Look, it's signed by all four of them!"

 

"Er, yes, but those signatures are printed and actually part of the album cover design."

 

"Oh ..." :well:



#7 FastReader

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 14:16

Sadly someone has already bid £150 for the book. I've tried reporting the item to Ebay but there's no way to be adequately specific about why you are reporting it. If anybody at Ebay actually looks at it I don't suppose they'll give it more than a cursory glance and will not pick up why It's been reported. The seller in question regularly sells "signed" items which often don't appear authentic (I speak as a collector of signed motor racing books, the majority of the signatures collected by myself). I wouldn't touch their stuff with a bargepole.


Edited by FastReader, 12 September 2022 - 14:21.


#8 Allan Lupton

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 14:24

I am still surprised that autographs can command high prices - from where I sit there is no value in a signature per se, but I can just about understand the idea of getting a book signed for you by its author.



#9 Nick Planas

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 14:46

As Abraham Lincoln once said: "Don't believe everything you read on the internet these days"



#10 LittleChris

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 15:00

A few weeks ago the assistant manager of the charity shop where I volunteer came to me with a Bay City Rollers LP - "Look, it's signed by all four of them!"

 

"Er, yes, but those signatures are printed and actually part of the album cover design."

 

"Oh ..." :well:

 

And there were five of them weren't there ?  :D



#11 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 15:17

And there were five of them weren't there ?  :D

Very possibly. Not having been a fan of their ***** 'music' I know not and care less. :)



#12 RA Historian

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 15:21

A number of years ago I came into possession of a poster of Jim Clark with his autograph. Being skeptical, I wanted verification. As timing would have it, the upcoming weekend was the big historic meet at Road America. I took the poster to the track and contacted Ed Swart and his wife Sally. They said that it was legit, much to my satisfaction.

 

Tom



#13 Bloggsworth

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 15:45

It's a sad truth that you can't trust the authenticity of any autograph.

Yours sincerely,

Napoleon

I can for my late wife's Beatles autographs; her brother was a policeman on duty at The Finsbury Park Astoria when the Fab Four were there in '63, he took their first two LPs into the dressing room to get them signed.



#14 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 15:58

Sadly someone has already bid £150 for the book. I've tried reporting the item to Ebay but there's no way to be adequately specific about why you are reporting it. If anybody at Ebay actually looks at it I don't suppose they'll give it more than a cursory glance and will not pick up why It's been reported. The seller in question regularly sells "signed" items which often don't appear authentic (I speak as a collector of signed motor racing books, the majority of the signatures collected by myself). I wouldn't touch their stuff with a bargepole.

I've just had a mooch through the eBay sellers' forum to see if it could be tackled that way. It appears not, but one reply to a very similar query about dodgy merchandise did stand out:

 

"Possible fraud" isn't newsworthy on eBay, it's an everyday reality. The user agreement even warns buyers that "eBay does not guarantee the existence, quality, safety or legality of items advertised, or the truth or accuracy of listings".  Would you buy from a shop that had this notice above the door?

Caveat emptor indeed.

 

Although I would add that every "for charity, mate" [© Smashy & Nicey] listing I put on eBay is 100% legit and has been personally crafted by yours truly. :) But you probably wouldn't believe the amount of fake 'designer goods' we get donated - shoes, handbags, clothes, hair straighteners ... once even a knock-off taekwondo belt which should have had velcro fastenings but had a buckle instead!

 

And at least Reggie Perrin was honest.

 

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#15 Bloggsworth

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 16:15

Sadly someone has already bid £150 for the book. I've tried reporting the item to Ebay but there's no way to be adequately specific about why you are reporting it. If anybody at Ebay actually looks at it I don't suppose they'll give it more than a cursory glance and will not pick up why It's been reported. The seller in question regularly sells "signed" items which often don't appear authentic (I speak as a collector of signed motor racing books, the majority of the signatures collected by myself). I wouldn't touch their stuff with a bargepole.

Fraud would cover it, also "Obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception." Not that the police would be interested, after all, you can't tarack it on CCTV...



#16 AJCee

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 16:31

In some ways it is unfortunate that signatures with provenance do have a monetary value. There are for example documents in The National Archives that have had signatures ‘liberated’. Simply vandalism, although most likely with a ready market.

#17 helioseism2

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 16:46

Autographs ruin a perfectly good book.



#18 Doug Nye

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 16:47

Never mind the date in that 'autograph' - isn't that final loop an assumed 'e'?  As in 'Clarke'...

 

:mad:

 

DCN



#19 opplock

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 19:52

Never mind the date in that 'autograph' - isn't that final loop an assumed 'e'?  As in 'Clarke'...

 

:mad:

 

DCN

 

In some respects the Ebay signature looks similar to the autograph I got at Levin in 67. In others, including the "e", nothing like it. More practice needed.

 

Sterzo - I trust the authenticity of those in my book. JYS, JC and Richard Attwood being the first three. Even though Frank Gardner insisted 30 years later that I was too young to have been there.   



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#20 Alan Lewis

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 20:42

Well, I know the Hawkwind band member autographs on my flared jeans from the Chronicle of the Black Sword show at the De Montfort Hall, Leicester are genuine since I was wearing them at the time.

(Yes, of course it was a bet. Flares in 1985?)

#21 JtP2

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 21:40

Never mind the date in that 'autograph' - isn't that final loop an assumed 'e'?  As in 'Clarke'...

 

:mad:

 

DCN

 

Must be from someone who made up the front cover of Autosport at some point as they once had a report on "the Jim Clarke rally"



#22 AllanL

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Posted 13 September 2022 - 00:30

Never mind the date in that 'autograph' - isn't that final loop an assumed 'e'?  As in 'Clarke'...

 

:mad:

 

DCN

You know I always wondered about the book that my son got signed at a Goodwood Festival by a passing bearded individual. Was it really written by that unacknowledged expert "Douge Ny"?

 

This coming weekend at the Goodwoode Rvival just won't be the same.



#23 Sterzo

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Posted 13 September 2022 - 08:55

I can for my late wife's Beatles autographs; her brother was a policeman on duty at The Finsbury Park Astoria when the Fab Four were there in '63, he took their first two LPs into the dressing room to get them signed.

 

 

Sterzo - I trust the authenticity of those in my book. JYS, JC and Richard Attwood being the first three. Even though Frank Gardner insisted 30 years later that I was too young to have been there.   

 

Indeed, and I witnessed DSJ signing one one of my books, assume Louis Chiron signed his letter to me, watched Dusty Springfield sign her name while singing to me alone (!), and trust Kate Bush's Dad to have obtained a genuine signature. (All rather embarrassing as I don't collect autographs). All except DSJ's have been given away - so how does anyone authenticate them now?



#24 RCH

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Posted 13 September 2022 - 10:07

Surely no one would be daft enough to try to sell something which was so obviously wrong, or bid on it for that matter. Unless... and I have no knowledge of how Jim Clark would have written it, that 2 is actually a poorly formed 7 with a "continental" cross bar misplaced downwards?



#25 AJCee

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Posted 13 September 2022 - 11:09

Surely no one would be daft enough to try to sell something which was so obviously wrong, or bid on it for that matter. Unless... and I have no knowledge of how Jim Clark would have written it, that 2 is actually a poorly formed 7 with a "continental" cross bar misplaced downwards?


Sadly, the evidence of this world is that there must be plenty. If it were not the case there would not be things like the helpful telephone calls about “illegal activity on your PC” from “Microsoft” and the plethora of various scams and get-rich-quick schemes.

#26 absinthedude

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 08:08

I know the history of a signed photograph in my possession of Winston Churchill. But can I prove it's history? Probably not at this distance. 

 

He was known to have a secretary do autographs for him so many out there look genuine but cannot be proved...came from his office and so on but could well have been the secretary. Mine was presented by Churchill himself to woman who worked for him during WWII and who by the mid 1970s was an old lady living next door to me and my parents. She decided to give my parents the signed and framed photo when she was nearing the end of her life. Mrs. Herring, I seem to recall her name was. But can I prove any of that? Nope. Other than possibly checking with the Land Registry to prove that a Mrs. Herring lived at that address in the mid 1970s. Which proves no link with the photograph.

 

Autographs are really only worth something if I've met the person. I have signed copies of books by Nigel Mansell and Eddie Jordan but they were pre-ordered to come signed and dedicated. It's nice but it doesn't give me any link to Mansell or Jordan.  I treasure my copy of Stirling's book on Fangio more because I went to a motor show to meet Stirling and have my copy signed. It's a memento of meting the great man, when I didn't get a photo with him. Now Tom Baker, I got two autographs and two photos plus a wonderful chat.

 

A sad shame that people fake these things, to be both expected and reported. 



#27 68targa

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 08:56

The only sure provenance is to see the person actually put pen to paper. I remember my mum going to see Frank Sinatra (or it may have been Sammy Davis Jr) in concert. She waited at the stage door with others. One of the roadies came out took the programmes away and returned a few minutes later with them all duly signed. Everyone happy. I didn't have the heart to tell her that they probably had one of those machines that churned out duplicate signatures.



#28 RCH

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 09:03

I picked up a copy of "The Racing Car Pocketbook" signed by DSJ. The seller actually said, someone has spoilt it by putting his name in it, not realising it was the author! I also got a paddock pass fairly cheaply at auction signed by Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt. Graham's signature I recognised, Rindt's took a bit of research. Genuine? I hope so I got a good price for it on Ebay. 

Talking of Tom Baker, somewhere I've got a signed photo of one of his companions, my late girlfriend was a friend of Louise Jameson (Leela) and got her to sign several for my then young nephews. She, Antonia that is, had several odd scraps of paper signed by famous people whom she happened to see when working as an Amex rep in various swanky West End restaurants. Seems to me that autographs on odd scraps of paper are more likely to be genuine than a signed book or photo. 

 

Back when I had trade stands at Goodwood and other racing venues we were often visited by well known personalities. After a while I decided to get a "Visitors Book" much to the disgust of my helper who always described autograph hunters as stalkers. Strangely the numbers of famous visitors fell off after that...



#29 Steve99

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 11:32

At auction recently was a photograph 'signed by Gilles Villeneuve.' I messaged the auctioneer explaining it was Jacques, in one of Gilles' Ferrari's, and was his signature. They refused to change the description as it had a 'certificate of authenticity.' It was clearly Jacques' helmet...



#30 B Squared

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 11:42

When young, my family would attend practice days at IMS and Clark's signature was one I never got. His availability seems to have been more difficult than most.  I have Colin Chapman, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme, Jackie Stewart and most of the Americans from that era also. Always hoped that 1968 was going to be the year that I was able to approach him....



#31 helioseism2

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 22:46

Seller says:

"On 14-Sep-22 at 22:12:18 BST, seller added the following information:

 

For those enquiring about the date on this book, it is not unusual for Jim to write his 5 backwards, it can look like a 2, but this is a known trait and not that uncommon and we have seen it before."

 

Really?



#32 FastReader

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 08:31

Seller says:

"On 14-Sep-22 at 22:12:18 BST, seller added the following information:

 

For those enquiring about the date on this book, it is not unusual for Jim to write his 5 backwards, it can look like a 2, but this is a known trait and not that uncommon and we have seen it before."

 

Really?

 

In that case this one must be a forgery: 

 

https://www.ebay.com...=p2047675.l2557



#33 FastReader

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 09:30

I expect he used to sign his 2 backwards as well so it looked exactly like a 5.  :rolleyes:

 

Anybody who believes this nonsense deserves to be mugged on Ebay. 


Edited by FastReader, 15 September 2022 - 09:33.


#34 GreenMachine

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 10:21

Haha!  One of my early jobs was working for a slick fellow who 'made things happen' (stand up Duckfoot!)  He has the gift(?) of being able to forge the big boss's signature, and when the BB went on leave, Duckfoot would grab me, we would go into BB's office, and suffice to say a lot of correspondence somehow got signed off while BB was on leave ... .  Fortunately for Duckfoot the BB was well known as a hopeless administrator, and everyone turned a blind eye - including BB!  I wonder if Duckfoot has developed a sideline to boost his pension, though he would get it right so this would not be his.



#35 AJCee

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 11:41

Well the seller seems to have convinced a second bidder even before they added what looks a very deus ex machina -like caveat.

If that explanation is indeed the case, how did Jimmy do in his maths exams I wonder?

#36 Glengavel

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 12:15

Seller says:

"On 14-Sep-22 at 22:12:18 BST, seller added the following information:

 

For those enquiring about the date on this book, it is not unusual for Jim to write his 5 backwards, it can look like a 2, but this is a known trait and not that uncommon and we have seen it before."

 

Really?

 

OK, so Jim signed, in July (assuming that's what that scribble is) 1965, a book that contains a picture of himself captioned "World Champion in 1963 and 1965". I am not an author but presumably it takes some time to get a book written, proofed, printed and distributed. Even if the 'and 1965' was added at the last minute, it sounds like a tight squeeze.



#37 MCS

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 12:37

I remember many years ago a signed photo of Jo Schlesser practising at Rouen in the Honda RA302 appearing on eBay. 

 

I am fairly certain I posted something on TNF, but irrespective, think about it.  It was possibly authentic - it looked it.  Practice was Thursday and Friday and they had the Saturday off, so possible...

 

(Edit:  Typed FR instead of RA)


Edited by MCS, 15 September 2022 - 12:42.


#38 Clyde Peffar

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 13:03

I was very friendly for over thirty years with a well known racing personality who sadly passed a couple of years ago.In his later years he regularly received photos from his racing years that he had never seen and asked to sign them and send them back. Most of them appeared on Ebay with inflated prices not long afterwards and I dare say the prices have now gone up. The strange thing is despite the length of our friendship during his career and afterwards I have many "social" photos but not one racing one and had never seen his signature.



#39 bsc

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 14:46

OK, so Jim signed, in July (assuming that's what that scribble is) 1965, a book that contains a picture of himself captioned "World Champion in 1963 and 1965". I am not an author but presumably it takes some time to get a book written, proofed, printed and distributed. Even if the 'and 1965' was added at the last minute, it sounds like a tight squeeze.

According to a couple of sources, Clark won the '65 championship at the German Grand Prix. This was held on the 1 August. Therefore, the book must have been published after that date - which makes a July signature a little unlikely. 



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#40 FastReader

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 15:06

OK, so Jim signed, in July (assuming that's what that scribble is) 1965, a book that contains a picture of himself captioned "World Champion in 1963 and 1965". I am not an author but presumably it takes some time to get a book written, proofed, printed and distributed. Even if the 'and 1965' was added at the last minute, it sounds like a tight squeeze.

 

Oh, good spot! I was trying to find out the actual date of publication but without success. However, since Clark didn't actually tie up the World Championship until the German Grand Prix on 1st August 1965 then even if the book had been published the next day (which obviously it wasn't) then he couldn't have signed it in July '65 or '62 or whenever the seller wants us to believe. Unless, that is, he had a particular foible for writing "July" whenever he meant "December"...

 

*edit* Damn, I see bsc got there before I did.


Edited by FastReader, 15 September 2022 - 15:07.


#41 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 15:39

Oh, good spot! I was trying to find out the actual date of publication but without success. However, since Clark didn't actually tie up the World Championship until the German Grand Prix on 1st August 1965 then even if the book had been published the next day (which obviously it wasn't) then he couldn't have signed it in July '65 or '62 or whenever the seller wants us to believe. Unless, that is, he had a particular foible for writing "July" whenever he meant "December"...

 

*edit* Damn, I see bsc got there before I did.

To find the exact date of publication you would need access to printed copies of The Bookseller. An approximate publication date - within a month or so - ought to be on Whitaker's database of out of print titles, assuming it still exists; in my bookselling days you could get a British Books Out of Print microfiche set, which was a really valuable research tool. As Whitaker's is now owned by Nielsen, the data is probably still there somewhere ...



#42 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 20:17

I hope someone copies and saves the 'Jimmy '65' playing card for posterity...

 

Would he really sign as 'Jimmy'?



#43 B Squared

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Posted 15 September 2022 - 21:17

Some drivers sign different ways Ray. I have both Bobby Marshman and Bob Marshman signatures - same with Bobby (Bob) Unser. 



#44 404KF2

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Posted 16 September 2022 - 03:53

Brian Redman signed the autobiography he sold to me several years ago. It'll never for be sale, though!



#45 RCH

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Posted 16 September 2022 - 08:13

Seller says:

"On 14-Sep-22 at 22:12:18 BST, seller added the following information:

 

For those enquiring about the date on this book, it is not unusual for Jim to write his 5 backwards, it can look like a 2, but this is a known trait and not that uncommon and we have seen it before."

 

Really?

The usual reason for someone to write something backwards is being left handed. Was Jim left handed?



#46 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 September 2022 - 08:50

One thing to consider is just why it has that date in there...

 

If someone were forging a Jim Clark signature, surely they would look at things like when the book was published before putting a date on it.



#47 JtP2

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Posted 17 September 2022 - 00:05

Just remembered this story from many years ago, so bear with me.

 

This guy has a friend who is an avid old book collector and is always going on about his finds. So the guy starts telling his friend about visiting an antique book shop on holiday. He tells him about finding an old bible and starts describing a Guttenberg bible with his friend getting more excited. He then says "but it wouldn't be wort anything, some guy called Martin Luther scribbled all over it"



#48 Porsche718

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Posted 17 September 2022 - 01:06

Seller says:

"On 14-Sep-22 at 22:12:18 BST, seller added the following information:

 

For those enquiring about the date on this book, it is not unusual for Jim to write his 5 backwards, it can look like a 2, but this is a known trait and not that uncommon and we have seen it before."

 

 

This would probably be the most desperate example of "spin" I have ever seen. And having been involved in politics (at a very local level) I have seen "spin".

 

Signed Steve, 2022, (sorry I mean 2055 ... I think)


Edited by Porsche718, 17 September 2022 - 01:10.


#49 Paul Taylor

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Posted 17 September 2022 - 09:08

I'm not a handwriting expert (graphologist?) but the handwriting and signature do look very similar to other examples I can find on the web:

 

https://i.ebayimg.co...Q1J/s-l1600.png

 

https://thumbs.worth...a081f6e267e.jpg

 

https://www.autograp...6/large/5-1.jpg

 

On the other hand I wonder what this is...Seems to have been signed with the same date

 

https://www.ukauctio...st&imagesOnly=N



#50 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 September 2022 - 09:20

Yes, that one must be back to front as well...

 

It would be interesting to do some kind of forensic testing on it all.