Rare Cohen-related book on eBay

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Maarten
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Rare Cohen-related book on eBay

Post by Maarten » Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:44 am

Hi,
I came across this on eBay:
UNIQUE BOOK FOR AFICIONADOS OF LEONARD COHEN!!! This book, Old European Jewries, published in 1943 by the Jewish Publication Society of America, was awarded to Leonard Cohen in 1948 by the Hebrew School of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim for "Third General Proficiency" (see photograph). The Ex Libris bookplate is signed "Leonard Cohen" (see photograph) and the award book plate is inscribed "Given to Daniel Slatkin by Leonard Cohen on Nov. 29, 1990 (see photograph). Dr. Slatkin, from whose library this book comes, and Mr. Cohen were childhood friends in Canada.
http://cgi.benl.ebay.be/ws/eBayISAPI.dl ... 0262961008

The seller seems to know a lot about this book's relation with Leonard Cohen and it's history, but I can't seem to find any info when I google it.
Do you think it's real? Anyone who knows anything about this award from 1948?

Maarten

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jarkko
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Re: Rare Cohen-related book on eBay

Post by jarkko » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:25 am

Hm... Leonard's signature looks quite different from his later ones... However, I have to underline that I have not seen any of his signatures dateing back to the 40's.
Dick if you are reading this, could you show the signature to your friend in NY?
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Maarten
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Re: Rare Cohen-related book on eBay

Post by Maarten » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:45 pm

Jarkko,

I noticed the difference between this signature and the "normal" ones too, but Leonard Cohen was about 14 years old when he supposingly signed this, so I guess you can't compare these signatures... I didn't even have a signature when I was 14 years old! Does anyone know if Leonard attended the "Hebrew School of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim" during those years (1948)? Or ever heard of this guy called Dr. Daniel Slatkin? I stumbled across this object on eBay and it keeps drawing my attention but as I said before: can't find much information...

By the way: is Dick's friend a specialist in LC (early) signatures?

Maarten

***yes, that person is!! / Jarkko***

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Re: Rare Cohen-related book on eBay

Post by Dan K. » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:53 am

That would really be something if it is real! All I can add is this. I used to work with old books, so I know a couple things to look for. Notice on the bookplate with the dedication that there is a bit of discoloring in the top right-hand corner. You can see it on the bookplate itself as well as on the page. This is a pretty good indicator that it has been there since 1948. Now it's just a question as to whether this is our Leonard Cohen or someone else with the same name. I can probably find out some information on the title if anyone is interested, but not tonight...it's a bit late.
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dick
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Re: Rare Cohen-related book on eBay

Post by dick » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:43 am

Spoke with a LC's sister, Esther, this afternoon. While she would not be able to identify signature from that early date, she did confirm that Dr. Slatkin, an engineer or scientist, who worked at Brookhaven (Long Island), was indeed a family friend. She also confirmed that she and Leonard attended a post-public school afternoon curriculum at the synagogue up until about age 14 or 15. Finally she said the school did give books to recognize completion of a term once or twice per year.

She didn't know what 1990 occasion would have led to Leonard passing on the book, or what recent circumstances would cause Slatkin to let it be sold on Ebay.

Does that help? What is the bidding up to now?

Drop me a pm Marteen. Was great to see you and family again in Edmonton.

Dick
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Maarten
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Re: Rare Cohen-related book on eBay

Post by Maarten » Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:00 am

Hi guys,

Thanks for the research Dick, although having Esther as a back-up source of information feels a bit like cheating (but I don't mind that at all!). So it seems this looks like a genuine Cohen-artifact... Nice!
One more question though: I don't fully understand the meaning of an "Ex Libris bookplate". I know it's supposed to tell you who the owner of the book is and that it can have a personal reference to this person. But is it used often in the USA and Canada? I hadn't heard of it untill now actually, but I'm not really a bookworm... Are these bookplates glued to the inside of a book or are they just inlays? And does one have ex libris bookplates in every book they own? Or do you only attach a bookplate to the book when it is sold/given to someone? "Ex libris" means "this book used to be (ex) a part of this person's library (libris)". So does it only apply when it isn't yours anymore?

Am I clear here? Perhaps I'll google some more so I can read up on this...

Anyway: thanks for the help!
Maarten

2008 Manchester | Bruges | Amsterdam | London | 2x Brussels | Rotterdam |2x London
2009 New York | Cologne | Antwerp | Venice | Colmar | Barcelona | Las Vegas | San José
2010 Salzburg | 2x Sligo | Helsinki | 3x Ghent | Lille | 2x Las Vegas
2012 5x Ghent | 2x A'dam | Helsinki | Dublin | Verona | 3x Paris | Lisboa
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dick
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Re: Rare Cohen-related book on eBay

Post by dick » Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:48 am

I think the bookplate "Ex Libris" just means "from the library of....." and allows a place for the owner to write his name. These are added to the book after someone owns it, by the owner, and are a means of reminding others, who may have borrowed the book, where it should be returned. :-)

The presentation notice, typed here, was also added by the school so that the recipient would have a memento of his time and accomplishments at the school.

In this case, it is anybody's guess (the bookseller have a theory?) of who added the 1990 hand-written note that the book was given to Slatkin by Leonard.

Dick
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