Agatha Christie on sale at Ebay.

BrianBeBrianBe Investigator
I notice two signed? books by Agatha Christie have been offered for sale on Ebay. The seller quotes that these books (and quite a few recently listed and sold) were part of the Shuttleworth Family collection and that these books belonged to Anthony Shuttleworth , the godson of Agatha Christie. Is there such a collection and was this Anthony the godson of Dame Agatha? I am not too sure about the signature as all the books listed and sold by this seller are  in black ink and are identical in appearance. ( used with a tracing pen perhaps). Any thoughts please.

Comments

  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod
    I'm no expert in handwriting, but I'd be very careful with signed books.  Christie wasn't known for autographing too many of her books, and a whole lot of supposedly signed Christie books are forgeries.  Since Christie's signature is reproduced on many covers, numerous people have tried to trace it.  A particularly egregious example would be some autographed copies of Sleeping Murder– this is an obvious fraud because the novel was published posthumously!

    I don't know anything about Mr. Shuttleworth, either, I'm afraid.  

    I think the listings have ended anyway, but I wouldn't buy an "autographed" Christie novel without doing extensive research into the provenance.  It looks like one of them sold for about $400, which seems cheap when a letter by Christie sold for $25,000 a while ago on eBay...
  • Agatha Christie signed and often inscribed many books during her long career. The so called Agatha Christie books on eBay being sold from a eBayer in Australia are blatant forgeries. The signatures are not close in any respect to Agatha Christie's.  The signatures on all the books being sold by this seller are clearly done with the same ball point pen and are all similar. The seller even sold one signed Agatha Christie that was published after Agatha Christie died. Antony Shuttleworth was NOT the godson of Agatha Christie and the letter provided by the seller to prove the prove the provenance is simple letter written and printed by the seller. There are many fine booksellers in the marketplace who sell fine signed books and letters by Agatha Christie.
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod
    Thank you, @watchingmarketplace!
  • The eBay seller selling Agatha Christie forgeries on eBay is jebboroam and they are in Austrailia. In the last 2 days they have received 2 negative feedbacks for selling forgeries (in this case they were in fact, Agatha Christie's). In the same period of time they received a neutral feedback. We are full time booksellers in business for 18 years. We have inspected all of the books they are offering and they are all blatant forgeries. Amazing that Agatha Christie, Yukio Mishima, Evelyn Waugh, Tennessee Williams, and Jean Cocteau all used the same black ball point pen to sign their books.The Marc Chagall book is laughable!  We have contacted eBay security and the customer who bought the 2 Agatha Christie's is filing a complaint with eBay and returning the books for a full refund. They bought each "signed" Agatha Christie for $250
  • Once again jebboroam on eBay is selling blatant Agatha Christie forgeries. The supposed signatures are not even close to the handwriting of Agatha Christie and are done in the same ball point pen every time.. jebboroam has 3 feedbacks indicating that his books are forgeries. 2 feedbacks from the same buyer state: 
    Negative feedback ratingIt's a fake! and the third states 
    Seller a fraud! FAKE BOOK. Said I'd be refunded when returned but kept my money!

    Now  jebboroam is back with The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and just sold After The Funeral. How can people be so foolish??!?? There is no Antony Shuttlecock connection! He was NOT her godson. His provenance letter for his books is his typed letter with the bogus seller's signature.  
  • eBay seller jebboroam changed their User ID to therepository in January 2017, this was probably due to this thread exposing their tactics plus too much negative feedback accumulating (it would appear changing ID clears a user's feedback history).

    Again they have several dubious signed or inscribed Agatha Christie books along with currently or recently listing "signed" titles by Orson Welles, Graham Greene, Samuel Beckett, Roald Dahl, Evelyn Waugh, Douglas Adams, Harper Lee, Albert Camus, Nancy Mitford, Alistair Maclean, Jorge Luis Borges, Stephen King, James Joyce etc. 

    I was initially curious and almost tempted to purchase something - but also suspected something might not be quite right based on the lack of information in listings, i.e. the large and endless supply of signed books this user seems to have access to combined with the too good to be true prices. Plus on more careful inspection a lot of these books have awkward looking signatures or inscriptions some seemingly inspired/cobbled together from the first page of Google image search results. So plenty of red flags. 

    Googling the current ID (therepositorybrings up no info but on inspecting the eBay ID History (accessible from their 'Feedback profile' page) I thankfully found their previous ID jebboroam and this thread. I now believe all their signed listings to be fake. The user will likely change their user ID again but one consistent aspect across listings so far is that the items are always listed as being sold from Mackay, Queensland, Australia. 

    All books are listing as 'Private Auctions' (another red flag) which means a history of items sold is unavailable in feedback, only looking in their 'Completed Listings' shows how many signed examples they apparently have. A few buyers seem to have been unknowingly duped - leaving positive feedback such as "Marvelous seller. Great signed first editions!". 

    Hopefully eBay will step in but for now I leave this as a warning - avoid this seller and always check a user's ID history, they might be hiding a fraudulent past. 
  • Also if anyone is taken in by this fraud and the seller is based in Australia I suggest they report it to the local fraud office - depending where the item was sent from. 

    Queensland : http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/lodge-your-complaint 
    New South Wales:
     http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/biz_res/ftweb/General_complaint/?type=general

    Other fraud reporting forms can be found online. I have been advised eBay will only take action if this is escalated through legal channels. 
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