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"Kevin. Mac Donnell" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 1 Nov 2004 23:16:27 -0600
text/plain (33 lines)
Until they cough up a solid provenance or evidence all they have is a good
story. I hear stories like this all the time when people offer me Mark
Twain's electric razor or his palm pilot, and they always come with a
terrific story and all kinds of "expert" verifications, but when I ask for
the actual documents (not the stories about the evidence or documents) they
never seem to materialize.

Show me that label (which sounds a bit odd from the get-go). Show me
contemporary documented evidence (from the Twain side, not the Hancock
family legend based on great Aunt Matilda Hancock's attestation that she saw
a guy with white white hair and whiskers hand it over to her daddy in a
Fresno California bar in 1909). And show me a reasonable chain of evidence
showing this is that very same guitar.

I have over a 150 volumes from Twain's library, a bunch of silverware he
gave his daughters, a fan he and his family autographed and kept as a
souvenir from their time in Germany, and a bunch of other things with rock
solid provenance or documentation. But I also have an 1868 fountain pen, an
inkwell, a pipe, and a pair of gold-rim glasses that have about the same
claim to fame as that guitar (at this point).

Today on ebay I saw a flint arrowhead signed by Geronimo in felt-tip pen and
a piece of cloth signed by Lincoln in deliriously bright blue ink and given
to a slave in Richmond, Virginia after the Civil War was over. These items
had expert authentication and came with wonderful stories (the seller ebay
seller is "93_and_selling" --check out his current and previous auctions for
more goodies, including a "signed" Twain).

Now, I'm not saying it ain't Twain's guitar...

Kevin Mac Donnell
Austin TX