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Lizzie Borden Signature on eBay

19 Oct

 FURTHER UPDATE OCT 26TH:  SEE COMMENTS IN COMMENT BLOCKS BELOW.

UPDATE: After notifying the Seller I doubted this was a Lizzie Borden signature, she ended the auction without any bids and sent me this reply:

“Dear ____________ (I hope),

I thank you again for your input in reference to the Lizzie Borden signature I offered on eBay. Since you have now, and perhaps rightly, raised doubt upon this item, I have removed the listing until I can double-check its authenticity. Do you recommend the Fall River Historical Society as the best place to approach? I do not want to jeopardize my seller’s status at eBay by offering something in doubt. I thank you for writing and for bringing this to my attention – it’s just a bit bothersome to think that mum was wrong all these years.”

– baroquebaroque

 

There’s a current auction on eBay purported to be Lizzie Borden’s signature. You can check it out here.

The starting price is $60 with an unknown Reserve, and as of noon this posted date, there were no bids. An inquiry as to the provenance of this item with the Seller yielded the following reply:

“Dear ________:Thank you for your question. My mum who, sadly, is not with us anymore would have been able to answer it in more detail than I, but here goes…my mum was an avid Bordenphile (is that the word?) and we were chock-ablock with Borden books and memorabilia (I was even dragged to fall River in ’92 for the centenary and had to photograph my mum at Lizzie’s grave). My mother purchased the signature from a dealer in Boston, who had in his possession a bunch of material on the Borden’s including old bank statements, church records and invoices (most of which my mum bought and has since been sold). I am sorry to say that I do not know the dealer’s name since this was many, many years ago. Lizzie’s signature was in an old prayer book, “The Book of Solomon” or “The Psalms of Solomon”. The signature was one of my mum’s treasures! When framed, it hung on the staircase wall in our house for decades, until I inherited it. I don’t know what happened to the book itself, I’m afraid. I wish I could be of more help, but, if it is any reassurance, as stated in the listing, the signature comes with a lifetime guarantee of authenticity. Thank you again for your question.”

– baroquebaroque”

Seems pretty slim to me. I would think the Seller’s “mum” would have kept the Boston seller’s receipt or notation of date of purchase, have kept track of the book itself, and so on if these were such coveted “treasures” from her mother passed on down to her.I have a hand carved wooden sewing box which belonged to my great-great grandmother who came to Hawaii from Portugal (yes, I’m part Portuguese). The box was originally made by my great-great grandfather in Lisboa, given to his bride as a wedding present. Thus, my maternal great-great grandparents took this sewing box with them when they sailed to Honolulu, Hawaii to work in the pineapple fields. It still has items from her day in it such as needles, thimbles, threaders, cloth swatches, small scissors, and threads used by her and my great grandmother, grandmother, and mother as well. I’ve included an index card with their names, dates of birth, dates of death, when they were given the sewing box and when they passed it on to whom and where. They coveted this beautiful sewing box and so do I. It is because of my experience with this item that I tend to doubt the Seller’s reply as given.There are many known and authenticated signatures of Lizzie Borden, aka “Lizbeth A. Borden” as published in any number of books, journals and periodicals. Just Google “Lizzie Borden signature” and any number of them will come up, the first being this one.It had an eBay “Buy it Now” price of nearly $4,500, but I believe this one is real. Apparently, it wasn’t worth that much. At least not to any eBay bidder because it didn’t sell.I’d write more about this but I need to baste a tape on a garment. Excuse me while I reach for my sewing box…..

 
   
   
   
   
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3 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2007 in Collectibles, Fall River, MA

 

3 responses to “Lizzie Borden Signature on eBay

  1. baroquebaroque

    October 26, 2007 at 11:19 AM

    I am the seller of this item, a little upset to see what I believed private correspondence posted up without my knowledge, however, I would like to share with everyone the response I received today from Dennis Binette, Assistant Curator at the Fall River Historical Society in reference to my Borden signature:

    Hi,…,

    Sorry it took so long to get back to you but, believe it or not, we have been busy beginning to decorate the museum for the holidays.

    The curator, Michael Martins, and I have both compared the signature you have to those in our files and this is what we have come up with.

    The “A” and the “B” in Borden are very much like those in existing samples of her handwriting. The only part that is not consitent with examples of her signature is the manner in which signed the name “Lizbeth,” although the “T” is crossed in a style much like hers.

    We can’t say 100% that this is her signature for a couple of reasons. One, the image is not very clear. The other is that we have never seen any example of her signature that is not in ink. The only pencil signatures that we have come across were usually in old books and very unlike her handwriting. There were an awful lot of books that people were trying to sell as part of her library, but it was obvious that someone had smudged the pencil to make it look old.

    As far as your example, I will say that there are very many similarities to her signature. Do you still have the prayer book that the page was taken from? She would have only signed “Lizbeth” after 1904-5, which is when she began referring to herself by that name. If it was a prayer book from this period, or after, that would be another clue to pinpointing it as her handwriting.

    Sorry I can’t say absolutely that it is hers, but it definitely has the look of hers and is very close to the real thing.

    I hope this information is helpful and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

    Dennis

    I would be more than happy to foward the original email to anyone wanting proof of this, as I am sure there will be doubts and accusations that I wrote the email myself – also please feel free to contact either Mr. Binette or Mr. Martins at the FRHS if need be.

    The signature I have now seems far more authentic than the others seen, even stumping the experts. So, all in all, it seems to be yet another mystery left unsolved concerning Miss Borden.

     
  2. phayemuss

    October 26, 2007 at 11:35 AM

    I’m sorry you’re upset. I thought I was doing you a service by posting your response and acknowledging it may not be her signature…which is pretty much what Michael is saying. Therefore, you cannot, ethically, try to sell it on eBay or anywhere else as being Lizzie’s signature. It would be best to say that it “MAY” be her signature. Please understand, just as Michael said, there are many out there who pass off Lizzie’s signature and Lizzie items as hers, which are not, and many have fallen victim to such scams. I think you are motivated to doing the “right thing” and I commend you for that. Also, blog comments are usually buried, i.e., not noticed by people reading the blogs, and I would like to post this email on that particular blog entry if you don’t mind.

     
  3. Robert Ross

    September 7, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    I bought several of her signed books from Maplecroft from the nephew of her chauffeur, who also
    made off with cartons of her silver, which someone else nailed before I got there. Included
    was the guide she carried on her European tour. The top one shown here has some of the
    characteristics in the capitals but looks traced, the lower one is clearly a forgery.

     

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