“Duly Inscribed” by Winston Churchill

“Duly Inscribed” by Winston Churchill

DSC09468I 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.

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