Does this signature look real to you?

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
It doesn't look real, but doesn't the blurb above says it's a signed a numbered copy?
 

Jason

Founding member
A couple points to note: 1) The signed issue of this title was also numbered; 2) According to the Krumhansl bibliography, the numbered and signed issue has a mustard colored cloth backstrip... The copy in the Ebay auction has neither attribute.
 

zoom man

Founding member
Yeah Jason, you're right.
I too am looking at Krumhansl
And that red colored cloth backstrip is indicative of the first edition, hard cover,
Trade Issue,...
Very clever seller there!
And a cheat too?->
No way does that John Hancock look legit.....

I was thinking we should 'ask the seller a question'
But fuc* that, TMF is the highest bidder!
 

zoom man

Founding member
I almost feel like we ought to get in touch with TMF,...
That signature is obviously,
Well, yeah,
It's pretty obviously forged.

But then I looked again,
And the first bid came from Billy Roberts,
He ought to know better....

But what do I know,
Maybe the 1st trade edition is worth what he bid,
But I would view that 'signature' as much a scar
As a remainder mark, ex-library, etc.
 

mjp

Founding member
Yeah, Billy Roberts knows his stuff, but if you notice, the picture of the signature was added after the auction started, so maybe he didn't see it.
 

Jason

Founding member
I believe all the copies of PULP were signed this way: on a blank sheet that was bound into the book.
 

zoom man

Founding member
I've never seen it where he didn't sign it on the page where it is numbered,....
Maybe this is different, But plus,
I've never seen a #ed copy (like this one was supposed to be #119)
Just state the #.... ->
It should say 119/750

I've also never seen the color of the cloth strip remain the same
(the 1st edition trade copy for Pulp was black too, so that is what I would assume this is, with the added # and 'signauture.'
Maybe I'm way out there because this was Buk's last book when he was alive, and maybe they did do something differently. Will have to check out my Krumhansl (the signature does look like his)
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
I've seen several signed Pulps go on eBay over the years. They all look like this - kind of dodgy - but I have come to the conclusion that its just down to the timing etc of the book. Its my impression that although the book was finished before Bukowski died, it wasn't published until after his death (hence the copyright being Linda's not Charles') - or am I completely off there? Certainly my 1st paper back says printed March 1994 - a sad time...

Jason is right about the plain sheets being signed then bound in. I think this was also done with Betting The Muse? Anyone know for sure?

Regarding the signed 1st Pulp though - some of the ones I've seen have been from sellers that I'd trust to be selling legit stuff.

Anyone else ever thought that unless you were there with the book shaking in your hands when it was signed that there is no way at all to be completely sure?
 

mjp

Founding member
hank solo said:
Jason is right about the plain sheets being signed then bound in. I think this was also done with Betting The Muse? Anyone know for sure?
They were all done like that. At least all the later things, after Black Sparrow moved from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Shipping thousands of books to someone just to have them sign them and then send them back would be a bit of an unnecessary pain in the ass. I believe even with the Webbs, he actually went to New Orleans, but just signed paper, which was later collated into the books before they were bound. That's why you sometimes see those loose autographed sheets from the Webb books for sale. They were overage and not used in the books.
Anyone else ever thought that unless you were there with the book shaking in your hands when it was signed that there is no way at all to be completely sure?
Yes. At least with some of the off the wall stuff. But the signed/numbered stuff is pretty well documented, so you can be sure of legitimacy.
 

mjp

Founding member
Well, it went to TMF in the end anyway. He/she seems clueless about a lot of things.
 

chronic

old and in the way
"The Roominghouse Madrigals" auction was definitely bogus. Aside from the signature being a really poor forgery, it's unlikely that Bukowski would have signed the colophon page rather than the title page for a trade first. The "Pulp" listing is likely legit. As has been pointed out, all of the signed copies for this title were done on blank sheets which were bound in to the book. As for the signature being a bit weird, my copy looks like this too. I heard somewhere (might have been Red who told me this... not sure) that these sheets were actually signed by Bukowski when he was in the hospital. At any rate, Bukowski was quite ill when he signed these sheets and I think that's reflected in the strained look of these signatures.

Over the past few years I've contacted a few sellers who were listing obviously bogus signed Bukowski items. Almost everytime they would send an apologetic email and withdraw the item. In one case, a seller was listing a "signed" book (can't recall which title) with a scan of the (badly) "signed" title page where you could clearly see that it was a 2000 printing. I emailed politely letting him know that it was a fake. He insisted it was not. I pointed out that it would have been difficult to get a man who had been dead for 6 years to sign a book to which he started arguing that 2000 was not a date but some obscure code used by BSP for god knows what reason. I still pestered him and he withdrew the book. A week later it was up there again... different seller name... title page scan carefully cropped to remove the year. This time I emailed ebay directly and the listing was withdrawn.
 
Anyone clueless enough to think that the ROOMINGHOUSE signature is authentic deserves to be taken for a ride. Do you homework! Buyer beware! etc.

An interesting note about BETTING ON THE MUSE: some of the signature pages that were bound in were signed much earlier in Bukowski's career. Martin had Bukowski sign pages and then kept them for future use. Hence, some of the signatures are clear and recognizable, and some are the more contemporary scrawl.

Who the hell is TMF? I'm too new here to know the players. I hope it isn't me.
 

mjp

Founding member
nymark said:
Who the hell is TMF? I'm too new here to know the players. I hope it isn't me.
Ha - no, TMF is The Mad Frenchman, the nickname eBay user alainmarcel123 got after paying ridiculous amounts for some common, $10 or $20 books (and $150+ for the Madrigals with the forged signature). But he has made a lot of good buys too, so I guess we might have to stop calling him mad. ;)
 

chronic

old and in the way
There was another buyer on ebay a while back who single-handedly drove the prices of Bukowski items through the roof (I'm sure that some here know who I'm referring to) by bidding way above market value on everything he bid on. He didn't buy junk - in fact he bought some of the rarest and most valuable stuff to turn up on ebay - but he consistently paid much more than he probably would have if he'd just "played the game."

I sold him some of my best stuff at a tidy profit. One of the things he bought from me was a copy of "90 Minutes in Hell" which I had gotten from Bukowski in the mid-eighties. It was signed and had great sketches inside of the gatefold and was a really nice item (I've never seen another signed copy of this anywhere). He paid enough for this one item for me to be able to buy signed and #ed copies of "Factotum," "South of No North," and "Women" with enough left over for a nice dinner.

He also drove the prices of manuscripts way up. Scott at Abandoned Planet had been listing these for some time and generally getting in the (admittedly below value) $100 -$300 range until this bidder drove the prices up to $1000 - $2500. I'm sure it made Scott very happy.

This guy came on the scene very suddenly and then seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. My theory is that he inherited some money and went broke buying Bukowski.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
The buyer that you are referring to did not inherit any money that I know of. He is the son of a very famous publisher. He also owns an art gallery. I assume that besides family money, there is art sale money at play. Also, he is still in the game, but only buying privately. I think that he bought a large chunk of the Edwin Blair Buk collection using a phone bidder....
 
chronic said:
There was another buyer on ebay a while back who single-handedly drove the prices of Bukowski items through the roof

I know of this buyer as well and have sold him a few pieces via eBay. That his money comes from his father's publishing empire means that he most certainly did inherit it. He bought almost all of Montfort's collection that was sold through Simon Finch. The story goes that after he received a copy of the now famous and hard to get catalog, he called Finch and said, "give me whatever is left."

The bidding madness that chronic speaks of actually involved two people. Remember, the bidding can't reach those ridiculous heights unless there is a counter bid. This second bidder did not have the same financial resources as the first and may have gotten into dire straights for the amount he was spending on Bukowski rarities. The prices of collectibles have since dropped somewhat since those mad days, but not to the point where all this started.
 

mjp

Founding member
There were actually two users who drove up the manuscript prices on eBay (dermaface and stnickl), bidding against each other. It did indeed kind of happen "overnight," but I think it was just a coincidence that they both showed up at about the same time and didn't realize that there were a lot of manuscripts available and that they were selling in the $75 - $300 range.

Of course when the manuscripts went from selling for $100 to selling for $1500, I retired as a buyer and became a seller. ;) But I have always found it interesting that those two did that, and that the prices stayed higher than they had been before they showed up.

Also interesting, Scott from Abandoned Planet told me almost three years ago that he was down to his last dozen or so manuscripts, but he continues to list new ones after all this time, so I can only assume he had a larger stash than he let on. Before he started selling he had to have the largest number of manuscripts in private hands...he must have sold 1500 (or more) by now...
 

cirerita

Founding member
But I have always found it interesting that those two did that, and that the prices stayed higher than they had been before they showed up.
The prices of collectibles have since dropped somewhat since those mad days, but not to the point where all this started.
I wasn't here during those frenzy, crazy days, but I noticed quite a few manuscripts from Abandonedplanet did not sell recently, and many of them were under $500.
 

chronic

old and in the way
Yes, you're right... there were two of them, but mostly they competed for the manuscripts. I didn't see dermaface bidding on books and other items. With Nick, I think what happened was that he was winning some books at very high prices leading quite a few sellers to post "Buy-it-now" prices higher than they otherwise might have. If it was something he wanted, Nick would pay whatever the BIN price was. By doing this, I think he got a lot of people to list items that they might have held onto otherwise. I know that I sold him some things that I would have liked to have kept in my collection, but with the prices he was willing to pay (and the fact that money is something I seem to be chronically short of) I couldn't resist.

I didn't know his background so it was just my theory about the inheritance. I noticed when he bought stuff from me he was taking longer and longer to pay. I just assumed he was starting to feel the financial squeeze.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Hi,
Last I heard stnickl's father was still living. The other person (dermaface) is a good friend of mine. He did not buy many of the books because he already had them. You are correct about him buying the Montfort collection. Rumor is that there was not much left. Of course, I would have loved to have it, but the truly RARE items were sold before he got it. stnickl always amazed me as he seemed to want MANY copies of the same title. I saw him win at least 5 copies of "Crucifix" and 3 copies of "It Catches". I guess they will remain as an investment. I appreciate wanting to get a better and better copy (I am guilty of that), but collecting quantities seems odd. Especially at the prices paid for them. hmmm... I think that we'll never know.

Bill
 

chronic

old and in the way
I also wondered about his buying multiples for more than they were worth, but what really got me was when he started buying foreign editions (that were readily available on ABE for $10 - $25) for ten to twenty times what they were worth. It must be nice to have so much money that you don't have to be concerned if you're throwing away thousands of dollars. Geez... capitalism... ain't it grand?
 

mjp

Founding member
bospress.net said:
stnickl always amazed me as he seemed to want MANY copies of the same title.
'dermaface' wrote me about 'stnickl' once, "How many copies of Hollywood does one man need?! Come on!" Heh.

I sold to both of them and didn't have any trouble with 'dermaface.' Can't say the same for St. Nick. He made it very difficult to receive payment. Oh well.
 

cirerita

Founding member
hey, guys, maybe you could tell both dermaface and Nick about this forum and they can explain the whole story to us here!
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I'll let dermaface know. As far as stnickl, he does not seem to reply to e-mails.... Can't help with that...

Also, yes, I agree with mjp, dermaface always pays his bills VERY FAST. If he waits two days to pay for a book, then that is a long time. I usually had the money within 24 hours....

Bill
 
bospress.net said:
Also, yes, I agree with mjp, dermaface always pays his bills VERY FAST. If he waits two days to pay for a book, then that is a long time. I usually had the money within 24 hours....

My experience is exactly the same. dermaface would pay almost instantly when he won one of my auctions. The first time that St. Nick won one of my auctions, I got an e-mail from a friend of mine who is an ABAA dealer specializing in Bukowski telling me that St. Nick is good for the money but I'll have to ride him in order to get it. I think it comes down to the difference between having respect for money you have to work for vs. having a cavalier attitude towards money that is given to you. Yes?

Not long ago I contacted dermaface asking to buy back something that I sold him. He wasn't biting and I don't blame him. It was a great piece. I have only sold items from my library when I needed the money and have regretted it almost every single time. A word to the wise: if you have it hold it (a book, that is).
 

mjp

Founding member
nymark said:
I have only sold items from my library when I needed the money and have regretted it almost every single time. A word to the wise: if you have it hold it (a book, that is).
I would add, hold on to your manuscripts and letters too. Especially letters, as they're one of a kind.
 
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