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Headly Westerfield <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 22 Mar 1996 20:05:27 -0500
text/plain (45 lines)
>Hello all.
>Having read the post on the Twain autograph for sale at 160.00, allow me to
>expound briefly.
>This was supposed to be brief. Please excuse me for rambling.

This talk of Mark Twain's signature and an interview I saw on CBC's Midday
dovetail nicely.

Trina Srebotniak (sp?) interviewed via satellite a Mr. Mel Boone from Nova
Scotia.  He was the man who recently discovered a signed Mark Twain regrets
card in a box of covers.  [Covers, for the uninitiated, are envelopes which
have already been sent and the stamps cancelled.]

Mr. Boone had been living in Calgary, and was about to move back to his
boyhood province of Nova Scotia, when he attended a Stamp Fair in Calgary.
There, in a box of covers, he found several that he decided to purchase at
25 cents each.  One in particular caught his eye because it was sent to a
Nova Scotia address.  He took no more notice of it at the time.

When he got to Nova Scotia and was sorting through his stamp collection he
again came across this cover he had purchased for 25 cents.  It was then he
noticed the return address on the printed envelope read "S.L. Clemens" and
was postmarked 1881 from Conneticut.  Remembering that S.L. Clemens was Mark
Twain's real name he carefully opened the envelope along the side flap and
discovered a printed regrets card from The Man Himself declining an
invitation to lecture.  The card was signed in Mark Twain's own hand.

[Mark Twain evidentally had so many offers to lecture that this card was
printed to deal with them all.  It said he was no longer on the lecture trail.]

A photocopy of the card and envelope were sent to California for
authentification (the interview did not specify who authenticated it) and
the word came back that it was indeed a legitimate signature of Mark Twain.

This card is only 1 of 4 known in the world and Mr. Boone's highest offer so
far has been for $1,250.  Not bad for a 25 cent investment that he
originally thought he could re-sell for a dollar.  Mr. Boone is holding out
to see how high the offers go.

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