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Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:41 am
Thought I would try mining the collective knowledge base here for a question on what counts as provenance.
I recently added the Six Stories manuscript to my collection. It includes Steve's original submission manuscript along with two unbound mechanical proofs with hand corrections. I also was able to find sample of the cover stock to complete the package. It's unsigned.
I have no doubt as to the authenticity but the only thing I have to prove it to to the world-at-large is printed copy of an e-mail from Betts explaining what everything is.
As collectors, would an e-mail from a recognized authority like Stu be enough provenance or would you want more? What else would you want and where would you look to find it?
Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:33 pm
For most people, that should be enough. It would be virtually impossible to fake those items.
Be aware, though, that Betts Books is no longer owned by Stu and Penney Tinker. They sold it to David Williamson. David is a King authority also. He will have the business up and running as an internet-only operation in a few weeks.
You also might try to make contact with King's secretary via the Stephen King Message Board:
His secretary is Ms. Mod on the board.
Provenance is often very difficult to prove. Perhaps Stu (now David) has records of whoever he got the items from. That would also help.
Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:19 pm
I couldn't have said it better myself John!
Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:20 pm
I'm running into a similar problem with an auction I just won. Only the items involved are photocopies of King's manuscripts for Cycle of the Werewolf:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... K:MEWNX:IT
The auction was actually for copies of two separate manuscripts. The first had hand-written corrections. The second was a copy of the typescript that incorporated those corrections.
The seller is a reknown dealer and collector. I made contact with him to see if he could give me some more provenance and he gave me the person from whom he got them. This person has not replied to my emails.
I asked some of the more knowledgable collectors at TheDarkTower.com. Two had copies of the one with the hand-written corrections among other items. One of these had purchased his from Betts Books as part of the Chris Cavalier collection.
I also asked Ms Mod about them and she informed me that those were way before she worked for King. She suggested that the original source was probably King's agent at the time (Kirby MacCawley) or the publisher.
The end of the saga is that I know little more than I did before, but that what I had was a fairly good value for what I paid for them.
Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:54 am
Have you thought about contacting Bernie Wrightson to see if he can provide any additional info? It's somewhat of a long shot but since he was involved in the project who knows?
I was unclear from the action listing, is this a xerox copy with hand made edits, or a fully xeroxed copy of the orginal that already had those hand written corrections when copied? (if that makes sense)
Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:37 am
It's fully copied. The notations are NOT originals.
I guess I'll try Bernie. As you said, it's a long shot, but I'm really out of other options.