I have a first American edition of Churchill’s Boer war book, London toLadysmith via Pretoria (New York: Longmans Green, 1900, now part of The Boer War).On the inside cover, there is a label with a signature of Winston Churchill.Do you think that it is an original signature or is it a label that was printed in quantities? —L.C., Quebec, Canada
The first line reads, “duly Inscribed” and the signature looks like his (suitably aged ink), but I have never encountered “duly Inscribed” on another book signed by Churchill. However, since this is a card obviously pasted in, I suppose it’s possible.
I doubt this is something that was printed in quantities, but cannot tell for sure from a photo that it’s written in ink and not printed (like the common facsimile holograph thank-you notes from the 1940s).
The pen used had a broader nib than the ones Churchill favored, but it might have belonged to someone who handed it to him to inscribe the label. All in all, I think it’s Churchill’s writing, but from a much later date. In 1900 his signature was less expansive than it became in later years, and this looks more like post-1930.
From the photo it looks suitably aged and seems to have been there a long time. Inscribed copies with the inscriptions pasted in are not, of course, as valuable as books the author has personally inscribed.