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Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:16 pm
by tomthebookguy
I posted this on the Leonard Cohen sub-reddit the other day, and was directed here. And from what I've seen, it's definitely the place to ask!

I discovered this signature in W. Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge", published 1944. There's nothing special about the book, except that on the front endpage there's a dedication to a Mrs Birdsall from 22 of her students, one of which is signed Leonard Cohen. I presume he would would have been between 10-13 or maybe 14...?

What could The Boy's I.A.C. be?

My usual way to confirm signatures is to compare to images on the internet, but handwriting can change quite a bit from your school days... not that he ever had a crazy signature.

Any ideas greatly appreciated. I'm in Colorado, but I can trace the book's ownership history back to a guy who lived in Connecticut in the '50s and '60s. I've searched some of the student names, not too much luck there. Just Jack Klingenberg, who was born in Europe in 1934 (same year as Cohen), but died in Canada. That's the closest link I can find.

Thanks!

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Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:38 am
by drsing
Soory I cannot help, but it is a great find anyway.

Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:08 am
by musicmania
I'm no expert by any means, but I've witnessed Leonard signing stuff many times, and I can see traits of his writing in here. His signature did vary, so I'd like to think it is real. I could be proved wrong, but until that is the case I'd take this at face value!

Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:07 am
by Mabeanie1
"Our" Leonard may be unique but is Leonard Cohen really such an unusual name? It's a lovely find but it seems quite a leap to assume that it originated in Montreal, Canada. Where was the book published?

Wendy

Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:35 pm
by tomthebookguy
Thanks everyone for the replies!

I always approach a signature with caution - I once came across an Albert Camus signature with an inscription in English. With a minute of research I determined it was super fake, and with one thing or another I figured it was probably a joke between friends! :) And the other day I came across a Michael Jackson memoir where the publisher *printed* a sketch and a signature... super annoying for a collector.
Mabeanie1 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:07 am
"Our" Leonard may be unique but is Leonard Cohen really such an unusual name? It's a lovely find but it seems quite a leap to assume that it originated in Montreal, Canada. Where was the book published?
Valid thoughts, absolutely! The book is a US printing, but there may not have been a Canadian printing. And Montreal isn't so far from the border. I think I can confidently trace the book back to Connecticut in the '50s or '60s. And books do get around!

One thing that I think would greatly help is determining what "The Boy's I.A.C." is, or was. I read on Wikipedia that LC was active in a bunch of extra-curriculars in school: "Cohen involved himself actively beyond Westmount's curriculum, in photography, on the yearbook staff, as a cheerleader, in campus clubs (Art, Current Events), and even when "heavily involved in the school's theater program", he served in the position of president of the Students' Council."

I do plan on listing this on eBay - I'll wait a while longer in case I get further information, but one way or another I'll include all the caveats and let the buyer decide for themselves. We sell under "thebookguys", in case you're curious.

Thanks again for your replies!

Patrick

Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:45 pm
by MarieM
A long shot thought. Maybe Sylvie Simmons might be able to offer you an opinion. She is author of Leonard's biography "I'm Your Man." You can contact her on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/SylvieSimmonsWordsAndMusic/

Maybe she'll know about the Boys IAC or perhaps she has seen Leonard's early autograph.

Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:34 am
by HugoD
Boys IAC can perhaps mean members of a team of Interstate Athletics Conference. What I understand of Wikipedia is that this a high school sport league made up of 6 private schools in the Washington DC area.
That would not fit “our”Leonard but as mentioned by others there are also other Leonard Cohen in this world ;-).

Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:04 am
by tomthebookguy
Contacted Sylvie Simmons, via Twitter. We'll see if she has insights...
HugoD wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:34 am
Boys IAC can perhaps mean members of a team of Interstate Athletics Conference. What I understand of Wikipedia is that this a high school sport league made up of 6 private schools in the Washington DC area.
That would not fit “our”Leonard but as mentioned by others there are also other Leonard Cohen in this world ;-).
That is very possible, certainly!

Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:07 am
by Hartmut
Mabeanie1 wrote: "Our" Leonard may be unique but is Leonard Cohen really such an unusual name?
Indeed. - I'm reminded of this hilarious letter to the editor by a Leonard Cohen from Northampton:

"Leonard Cohen: On those who litter, and those who help"

http://www.gazettenet.com/Archives/2013 ... tter517-hg

viewtopic.php?t=33906

Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:04 pm
by Mabeanie1
tomthebookguy wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:35 pm
I do plan on listing this on eBay - I'll wait a while longer in case I get further information, but one way or another I'll include all the caveats and let the buyer decide for themselves. We sell under "thebookguys"
Enough said.

W

Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:20 pm
by jarkko
1956.jpg
This is Leonard's signature in 1956 (shared by Dominique Boile who knows that this is an authentic Leonard signature)

Re: Can anyone confirm a 1940s school kid signature of LC?

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:35 pm
by tomthebookguy
Here's what Sylvie Simmons said in reply on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sylviesimmons/statu ... 5395350528

So... nothing promising. Maybe it's the guy from Northampton :) Might just have to stow it away somewhere as a curiosity, anyway.

Thanks again, everyone!