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Steve Took Autograph Fakes!

In 2005 a 'Bolan Fan' & avid 'Collector' or all things 'Bolan' sent me a copy of a signed programme he'd spotted on eBay, bought by a fellow 'Bolan Collector' and 'Bolan Expert'. He mailed me with a query about the spelling of the name 'Peregrin' as this 'autograph' was very clearly signed 'Peregrine'. Here's his letter:-

Hi Fee,
Much irretating is Steve's name: printed on the first album was Steve "Peregrine" Took, being followed for the next two albums as "Peregrin" (without an "e"). Followed the internet searchin for the original character in Lord Of The Rings you also will find both - sometimes with, sometimes without an "e"... Same result when having had a look in different printed Books by Tolkien... So hard to say what is really true?!? Maybe should have a look for the first edition...
On your site you always write him as Peregrin (without an "e"). Funnily enough I found his early autograph on ebay, which he definately signed "Peregrine" WITH an "e"... (Find enclosed here) Maybe you will have an answer for me to look through?! Possibly Tokien himself was not sure about, but surely Steve made a decision when choosing that name. Can't believe he would change from time to time... Not really important, hee? I really would like to know!

This item appeared in June 2005 on eBay and sold for £99.50. It purported to have both Took & Bolan's signatures on it and the seller states that he got the autographs himself ! I cast my eyes over it ... and here are my conclusions!

The very low selling price is an indicator that other potential buyers were cautious enough not to bid as I would have expected the magazine (rare in itself) with the autographs not only of Bolan and Took, but also of John Peel and the poet Adrian Henri to fetch considerably more than £99.50! As a guide, Tyrannosaurus Rex programmes routinely fetch £60 - £80 each on eBay.

There are of course very few examples of Took's autograph. I have a number of samples of Took's autograph and handwriting. It is tempting to put up the Tyrannosaurus Rex period copies of both Bolan & Took's autographs, to compare with these pair of autographs. However, to do this would simply allow forgers to be able to make better copies of Took's autograph which defeats the object.

I'd say that whoever forged it had 'seen' a copy of Took's signature, but was certainly not working from it when they wrote the fake. Although Took's signature did have initial letters with a bit of a 'flourish' the handwriting for the rest of the letters in each of his names is actually too fancy. Yes of course it can be argued that the samples I have were quickly written and perhaps in this case Took spent more time on the signature. However, this does not ring true because there are inconsistencies in the formation of particular letters - not just in the 'neatness'.

Below there are three images. 1) The 'autographed' eBay item; 2) An enlargement of the 'autographs' and 3) a copy of Took's 'Monogram Signature' (modelled off Tolkien's) with the 'S'; 'T'; and 'o' highlighted with blue; red and green respectively. If you compare the formations of the 'S', 'T' and 'o' in images 2) and 3) you can see that they are all formed differently, the capital 'T' of 'Took' in particularly. The letter formation of these letters in authentic Tyrannosaurus Rex era 'full autographs' is consistant with the later 'monogram' form. Although not shown, I can assure readers that in particular the 'P' and 'g' of 'Peregrin' in Took's full signature are also formed very differently from that in image 2).




This is an interesting 'find' however! Gosh Tookie's 'famous' enough to be forged! Moving swiftly on to Tolkien. We are fortunate to have grown up (we as in both myself and Kev) near to the 'Real' Twin Towers (in Birmingham) which were the inspiration for the title of the second book of the trilogy of Lord of the Rings. In many ways I am more like Bolan in respect to Tolkien and Kev is more like Took. I'm somewhat 'superficial' in my knowledge, but have learnt from Kev (in the over twenty nine years we've been married). Kev is very 'Into' Tolkien at a much greater depth. Not surprising really when you consider that Kev's older brother was one of the founder the Sci-Fi & Fantasy (with an understandable overlap into Tolkien) Convention 'Nova Con'.

Tolkien it must be remembered was a Professor in Old English and the Original languages of Europe. He was in fact THE recognised world expert in Old English and the Original languages of Europe. Therefore it is not only insulting to Tolkien for this 'Bolan Fan' & 'Collector' to suggest that Tolkien himself was not sure how to spell 'Peregrin'!!! but it also shows the closed mindedness of many within the 'Bolan Collector World' :-( Similarly, with Took's deep passion for Tolkien together with his 'Grammar School' education Took using the incorrect spelling of his own chosen name is completely unthinkable. The Bolan Expert sent me a second 'autograph' also spent 'Peregrine' (see left).

Web Sites may vary in their spelling of 'Peregrin', both in regard to Tyrannosaurus Rex and Tolkien through ignorance, sloppiness, or because anyone who runs their work through a standard 'spell checker' and allows it to 'auto-correct' will end up with 'Peregrin' being changed to the bird of prey 'Peregrine'. It is almost unbelievable that this 'Bolan Expert' should look up the Tolkien spelling of 'Peregrin Took' on the internet, rather than checking in printed copies of Tolkien's books! For pedants like me the internet can be a source of irritation when it comes to the proliferation of inaccurate information, especially by the know-nothing know-it-alls.

As a postscript to this 2005 query regarding the spelling of Peregrin. Several other Steve 'PEREGRINE' Took autographs have surfaced, including one where the final 'e' has been removed but the signs of the 'rubbing off' are clear. Therefore the forger(s) obviously realised the mistake and tried to remove the final 'e' before putting the item up on eBay. The seller on eBay claimed to be selling the item 'for a friend' and when challenged removed the item! He assured me that the 'smudging' was not done in an image programme and was an accurate reprosentation of the album cover. Below you can see the Bolan signature and the Took signature. The interesting thing is that they both appear on the album 'Unicorn' ... What's Odd about that? It's the 'Fly Double Back' Version which was not released until 1972 - long after Bolan & Took had parted company. So 'someone' had a copy of 'Unicorn' 'handy' and tracked down Bolan (by now living in the high security 'Bilton Towers' Apartment and tracked down Took for his signature !! Really????? The Bolan signature BTW is a copy of the one on a 'Jackie' magazine poster given away in 1972.

The Bolan Expert & Collector not wanting to either lose 'face' to me or to admit to his collector chum that he had bought a dud has come back with several other comments insisting that all the above is WRONG and that he is RIGHT that Steve Took spelt his name Peregrine, thereby implying my genuine signatures (obtained directly from Took) are the fakes. Below is where the Bolan Expert & Collector states his case on small, biased bolan forums where he tells his fellow Bolan fans why I am wrong. As you can see he is quite a nasty little chappie isn't he?

"Does this mean: Steve Took himself was wrong but Fee is right????" Where does he get off?? Talk about flogging a dead horse.

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