ERNEST HEMINGWAY whom bell tows REAL or NOT ? (1 Viewer)

Someone let me know if legit
Willard was a friends friend. Received the book from his elderly friend when he past on . Does not have the a ? anywhere by 1940 copyright .
Ernest hemingway 1941 signature .
Also how do I get a coa


hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Founding member
If the photo is too large, try a site like

But I'm not sure how many Hemingway aficionados we have here.

A COA is normally produced by a bookseller as a guarantee that the signature is real. If you know the story behind the book to be true and believe the signature is real then you can issue one if you sell. Its really just a written version of you giving your word. I suppose an autograph dealer and association member would be able to assess the signature for you and issue one, but no doubt there a charge for that. Personally, I'd prefer a believable provenance over a COA any day.

At a first glance, that sig doesn't look too bad to me - but I've seen perhaps 3 other signed Hem's online and would not say you can take my 2 cents to the bank.
It looks real, but so do the many, many forgeries. Hemingway almost always wrote witht he words slanting down to the right as he signed these books while the book sat on his leg. Here is an example (from the late 20's):


You'll also notice that the "s" in wish shoudl be a cursive "s", but it is a printed "s" on your book.

The problem is that forgeries (some of them very good) probably outnumber authentic signatures. This makes it tough to get a COA on a book like this. Still, a personalized inscription helps. I'm not an expert on Hemingway's writing, so take this for what it is worth.


Also, this one from 1934 (your "S" in "wish" is still a problem":


And this one is a REAL problem for your document. This one from 1941 (plus compare the signatures. Something is not "right" with your signature. I would send it to a Hemingway expert, but would bet that they are not willing to certify it:

See I know the guy who gave it to me knew Willard but as you said it looks real but I would not want to sell it . If there is doubt . Rather I had a coa . I will have to find a hemingway expert Thanks for all the pictures kind of fun seeing all his signatures. The 3 I found looks more like his . Thanks for your time .

Direction to hemingway expert?
I'm far from being a Hemingway expert, but I've seen many and owned a couple of Hemingway signatures in the past. For what it's worth, I don't think it's legit.
See here is the thing I know harry who knew willard he also had a coa from a gallery which was in the safety deposit box but when I got divorce I think that was the half I lost in that security box. Sort of speaking . My problem is I am not sure if it is this book on that coa . He had many signed books. I know it was ernest but which one. So I am hard pressed to say it is not. I need to take it to someone and get the coa .


Founding member
A "COA" is just a piece of paper. It doesn't prove that the signature is genuine. You seem a bit hung up on the mighty COA. You would be better off finding a Hemingway expert, or quasi-expert somewhere near you and having them look at it. If the book has a lot of value with a genuine signature, hand it over to a big auction house, they'll give you their opinion. That opinion is more valuable than knowing-the-guy-who-knew-the-guy. If you had a letter from Willard saying, "Hemingway signed this for me," then you'd be on to something. But third hand authentication is going to make a lot of buyers think twice.

Then again, many buyers don't give a shit and will take your word for it that it's a genuine signature. But you can't honestly say that you know that to be true. Tough one.
You asked for the opinion. I gave it. It seems that you found three other questionable forgeries to back up your assumption that your questionable signature is real. If that is what you are looking for, then do NOT contact a Hemingway expert. You most likely will not be happy with their opinion. Of course, you can still ignore it and use the three "signatures" that you saw on the internet to trump the expert opinion. Like I said, most Hemingways on the market ARE forgeries. Using them to validate your signature is silly. I found these documents that I posted from major libraries and other trusted sources. They are LEGIT. I pointed out the MAJOR flaws with your signature compared with AUTHENTIC examples.

mjp is right. The only COA that has any value in this case is one from a well known Hemingway expert. Any book dealer can issue a COA. If you have a printer at home, you can issue a COA guaranteed by tmmasarri. I'm just not sure that means anything. Still, some ebay buyers think that a COA is the word of god, so maybe you can just make one up and sell it that way. It will carry as much weight as any other non-ABAA bookseller.

As far as 3rd hand provenance, mjp is also right. I would never buy a "a friend of a friend got is signed" as these stories are almost always bullshit. You can find tons of books signed by all kinds of famous people to "Bob" and the seller insists that "Bob" was their dad and that he knew the famous person back when. Of course, it is 100% unprovable and almost always made up.

A letter of provenance with your book would help, but Willard would have to be proven to be an associate of Hemingway. Otherwise, it is just some anonymous guy's story.

And you still have a huge problem with that "s" and the fact that the writing does not slant down to the right...


p.s. I don;t know any Hemingway experts, but maybe contact Butterfields, PBA, Sotheby's. Still, I would not tell them the Willard story, unless you want them to refuse to look at the book outright.


Founding member
Are you kidding? Those sentences are classic incomprehensible illiteratese (like Chinese for idiots). Who wouldn't buy from an auction with a description like that?

Though I might go for the awesome Barbie dream house s/he is selling rather than the fake Hemingway signature...
tmmassari, who goes by the ebay used id t-tgirard, you do know that this forum is public and searchable with every major search engine in the world? Anyone buying this book for $800 who is smart enough to search under "Hemingway" and "t-tgirard" will find this very exchange where you were told that this was likely a forgery. You then chose to sell it anyway. If someone is foolish enough to buy it with that listing (which is NOT even readable), then you are opening yourself up to a lawsuit and possible Federal criminal charges.

I'm not saying that this is a 100% forgery, but it sure stinks of one. I am not saying that you forged it. In fact, I think that it was probably forged before you were born, but you asked for an authentication. You were told and SHOWN why this is almost certainly a forgery and then you decided to ignore that evidence and try to sell it anyway. Bad idea. Again, this now involves you selling a book that has been determined to be a possible forgery, unless you have found this Hemingway expert that can trump what I have shown you. If so, I apologize. I don't think that you will find a Hemingway expert to authenticate it as I think that they will see it right away as a forgery.

You need to be careful. I hope for your sake that it does NOT sell. If it does and the seller googles and finds this exchange (which will be up FOREVER), they will likely be out for blood and will almost certainly contact the FBI to have them charge you with serious felonies. I know that I would if I bought a book and then found, on a public forum, that it was shown to have serious issues.

It is not a crime to sell a forgery when you have no idea. It is just ignorance. It is not a crime to own a questionable book, but to be told why it is probably a forgery and then sell it anyway without disclosing this is criminal.

And to do it on an open forum is one of the most boneheaded things that I have ever seen. Maybe you can use the "not too bright" defense in your criminal trial.


p.s. ... and once the google spiders find this (which will probably take about 12 hours), typing in Hemingway t-tgirard will bring up only one hit...

You guessed it. This very thread....


Sad Flower in the Sand
These kinds of things fuel my days, really. The sheer lunacy of it all just blows my mind... No returns allowed either, eh?

Reeeal nice.
Well, unless I'm looking on the wrong place, it seems that they have made it impossible to see who bought this.

and, I'm not 100% sure that it is not real. I just hate how the seller asked for an opinion on it, then when he was told of the problems, he quickly rushed out there to sell it.

It could be real, but the seller gave the impression that he is trying to unload it before he is guaranteed that it is a forgery. Like somehow, because I'm not a Hemingway expert, it is best to sell it quickly before a certified Hem expert pops up on the forum and says that it is 100% a forgery.

No worry, the buyer of this lovely piece of Americana will someday find this posting and will have some questions for the seller....



"The law is wrong; I am right"
The seller sure plays it safe when he writes this in the auction:

Returns: No Returns Accepted
That means as much as a COA....

Paypal will issue a refund automatically and sue the seller, if need be, if the buyer can get evidence that the signature is not authentic. This would involve a true Hemingway expert, but would only involve him sending a scan of the book to get an opinion.

It is odd, as the seller has 10 years of positive feedback. It is strange to sell a book that could have serious problems given his great track record.



"The law is wrong; I am right"
I'm glad to hear it, Bill! Otherwise it would be too easy to rip off innocent buyers...
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Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
I knew a lady who was a Barbie model when she was a teenager. For real, a nice looking skinny blond. She use to dress up in Barbie costumes and appear at malls and big toy stores. I never got her autograph.

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