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Acquiring A Victorian Diary

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  • To me, a bunch of Liverpudlian caretakers (or pretty much anyone else, for that matter) discussing the arcane subject of whether 18 carat gold existed in the Victorian era just doesn't ring true. I feel a parody coming on...

    Caretaker A: I've got dis Vikhhtorian watch.
    Caretaker B: 'Ave yer?
    Caretaker A: Yeah. 18 khharat gold irriz.
    Caretaker B: Bollocks! Dey didn't 'ave no 18 khharat gold in Vikhhtorian times.
    Caretaker A: 'Oo sez?
    Caretaker B: Hyew fookhhin Scully, that's 'oo.
    Caretaker A: I'm tellin' yer, I've gorra Vikhhtorian watch, an' it's 18 khharat gold.
    Caretaker B: Well, fookhhin prewv it, den!
    Caretaker A: Aal right, I fookhhin will! I'll bring it inter weerkhh tomorrow, so youze can see for yer fookhhin' self!
    Caretaker C: Hey! Khhalm down, youze two! Khhalm down!
    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

    Comment


    • Sam, I hope your paper Welsh accent is a bloody sight better than your paper Scouse accent....

      Graham
      We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Graham View Post
        Sam, I hope your paper Welsh accent is a bloody sight better than your paper Scouse accent....
        It's difficult to render any accent on paper, Graham, and the fact that even Dickens struggled to succeed in this regard gives me some degree of consolation in light of my abject failure.
        Kind regards, Sam Flynn

        "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
          To me, a bunch of Liverpudlian caretakers (or pretty much anyone else, for that matter) discussing the arcane subject of whether 18 carat gold existed in the Victorian era just doesn't ring true. I feel a parody coming on...

          Caretaker A: I've got dis Vikhhtorian watch.
          Caretaker B: 'Ave yer?
          Caretaker A: Yeah. 18 khharat gold irriz.
          Caretaker B: Bollocks! Dey didn't 'ave no 18 khharat gold in Vikhhtorian times.
          Caretaker A: 'Oo sez?
          Caretaker B: Hyew fookhhin Scully, that's 'oo.
          Caretaker A: I'm tellin' yer, I've gorra Vikhhtorian watch, an' it's 18 khharat gold.
          Caretaker B: Well, fookhhin prewv it, den!
          Caretaker A: Aal right, I fookhhin will! I'll bring it inter weerkhh tomorrow, so youze can see for yer fookhhin' self!
          Caretaker C: Hey! Khhalm down, youze two! Khhalm down!
          Hello Sam,

          I don't know why but for some reason I always imagined that that was the way you talk in real life.

          c.d.

          Comment


          • No c.d. Gareth’s Welsh. There are far too many vowels in that conversation
            Regards

            Herlock



            Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
              We keep being told that Mike claimed to be a member of MI5 and to have foiled an IRA attack etc. but no actual details of these claims have ever been provided or the context in which they were made. I really have no idea if he was joking, or speaking tongue in cheek, when and if he said these things.

              Anyway, being a liar with an active imagination does not make someone mentally incompetent so that really is the end of that.
              Afternoon Campers!

              I woke up this morning with the realisation that I had forgotten the example of Mike's handwriting that appears on page 36 of Ripper Diary, beneath the sweary affidavit he swore on April 26th 1993. Interestingly this was just three days after Feldman was faxed a list of Portus & Rhodes electricians and their contact details.

              In the affidavit Mike is reinforcing his famous 'dead pal' story, describing how he had pestered him with one more question before Tony lost his patience. The question - an obvious one to ask - was "who else knows about it?", to which Mike was told: "Absolutely no fvcking bugger alive today". 'Tony died two months later in Fazakerley Hospital following a massive heart attack...'

              Beneath the date, and signatures of Mike and the solicitor, we get this hilarious handwritten postscript:

              NOTE: DEAd MEN DONt

              tell Lies. TONyS WORds.

              a FACT, SIMple as that.

              ANd I go to My gRAVE

              stating iT.

              Mike


              [All sic]

              Make of it what you will. But I have to hand it to Mike. He knew precisely what question anyone acquiring this diary, legitimately or otherwise, would need to ask before taking it to London and trying to get it published. "Who else knows about it?"

              Whether the book housing the diary was sent by a bookdealer or bought at auction to be used for 'forgery purposes', or was a gift from a friend, or stolen from somewhere, it had a substantial history. How many previous owners might still be alive? How many people had handled it before Mike acquired it? Who had handled it the most recently? Might any of these people recognise it from Shirley's first book?

              If Mike and Anne were using the guardbook to house their fake diary, they could hardly get answers to those questions, so in short they'd have no idea "who else knows about it", nor how many. Luckily there was no paper trail back to anyone handling it at Outhwaite & Litherland, or its previous owner, and Mike didn't need to give his real name. But I have to wonder how the Barretts would have got round this if the little red 1891 diary had not proved 'useless for forgery purposes' but had been just what they needed. Would Anne have spent the next 11 days writing out the text in a disguised hand that was perfect for forgery purposes, and not given a thought to how Mike had gone about acquiring it in the first place, how it was going to be paid for, and whether a paper trail could be avoided? Mike had made his initial enquiry using his real name and address and ended up as a "late payer". When Anne wrote out that cheque in May 1992, did it not occur to her to ask Mike how discreet he had been over its acquisition, if she was fully aware what he had hoped to use it for? Did she ask similar questions about the guardbook when Mike brought that home? "Who else knows about this book, Mike? Do you have any idea?" "No."

              Naturally, the very best case scenario would have been one where "Absolutely no fvcking bugger alive today" knew about the existence of the guardbook when Mike first acquired it, except for the person he acquired it from. At least if Eddie was that person, Mike could ask who else knew of its existence before deciding if it was safe to go public with it. I am only aware of one person - Tim Martin-Wright, who bought Shirley's book in 1994 - who claimed to have a "Bloody hell!" moment of recognition, when he realised this was the same JtR diary he had been offered about two years previously, before learning it had already been sold in a pub.

              Love,

              Caz
              X
              Last edited by caz; 03-29-2018, 05:12 AM.
              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


              Comment


              • Hi Sam,

                It's difficult to render any accent on paper, Graham
                Never read VIZ magazine, then? The secret is to not go over the top.

                Graham
                We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                Comment


                • Feldman's reasoning, after talking to the electricians in April 1993, was that Tony Devereux had purchased the diary from one of them and it had ended up with Mike.

                  When Feldman then told Mike that an electrician was prepared to say he had taken the diary from Battlecrease in 1989, Mike went straight round to Eddie's house and threatened him with solicitors if he said that. But if Eddie didn't know Mike from Adam, and had never set eyes on the diary either [it wasn't yet in the public domain], what was all that about? Mike could simply have said to Feldman: "Ask this electrician of yours to describe the diary he says he took, and what's in it. If he can't do it, you'll know he's talking bollocks and the diary never came from that house".

                  It doesn't get much simpler than that.

                  Unless Mike had to shut Eddie up because of what he knew.

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X
                  "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Graham View Post
                    Hi Sam,

                    Never read VIZ magazine, then? The secret is to not go over the top.

                    Graham
                    "Tits oot for the lads!"

                    Love,

                    Caz
                    X
                    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by caz View Post
                      "Tits oot for the lads!"

                      Love,

                      Caz
                      X
                      Whai aye, pet!

                      Graham the Sexist
                      We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                      Comment


                      • Back to the watch...

                        The same question should have occurred to anyone planning to use Albert's watch for a bandwagon Maybrick hoax in 1993:

                        "Who else knows about it?"

                        What about previous ownership, whereabouts and history? Who else knows about its existence or its pre-hoax condition, and how many? Who had it immediately before Albert, and what do they know? Could it have a verifiable provenance back to the 1880s showing that Maybrick could never have got his paws anywhere near it?

                        But a hoaxer could not ask those questions before going ahead and doing the work, engineering the discovery and interesting the diary's publisher. We know Albert only expressed an interest in where the watch came from after the discovery of the faint scratch marks in the early summer of 1993. Nobody would have known about any JtR diary in July 1992. Albert saw the watch in the window; he liked it; he bought it.

                        And then news of a diary emerges and the watch supposedly becomes an item which is considered more than suitable for forgery purposes, by someone who cannot have a blessed clue where it might have been, who might have owned it, or who might have worked on it, at any time between the 1840s and July 14th 1992. All they know is what the inner surface looks like when they settle down to change it forever.

                        And yet... and yet... it all works out more perfectly than any self-respecting hoaxer had a right to expect, because not only does it turn out that the known history is short and sweet, beginning with a complete stranger coming into a shop one day to flog the watch, no questions asked or answered, but it ends with the very helpful Murphys, who confirm that the post-hoax watch looks no different from the pre-hoax one, because the scratch marks they are now looking at are perfect forgeries of the ones they remember trying to buff out in 1992.

                        Love,

                        Caz
                        X
                        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Graham View Post
                          Never read VIZ magazine, then?
                          Yes I have read Viz. A few speech bubbles (with visuals) in a cartoon strip is one thing, but a stretch of written dialogue is quite another.... as per Dickens, as I pointed out. If only he'd lived long enough to read Viz, perhaps Oliver Twist could have been issued in booklet form.
                          The secret is to not go over the top.
                          I don't believe I did, but I'm sorry that you thought so.
                          Last edited by Sam Flynn; 03-29-2018, 08:00 AM.
                          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                          "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                            Apparently the world's leading expert on the watch thinks that the only issue for a jeweller in deciding to get a watch repaired is whether they can find someone to repair it. Some people might have thought that cost was a more important factor. Sometimes it can cost more to repair an item than its sale value. Sometimes a small jeweller might have cash flow issues and might not want to spend money on repairing an item even if it is worth more than the repair cost because they might not think they will be able to sell it. Something can be worth £1m but if you can't sell it then it really has no value at all. Statement of the Bleedin' Obvious Part 94.
                            I understand all this, David, but Murphy said he put the watch in the window 'with a resale price of £295 or £275' and Albert was able to buy it for £225 in the July, which suggests Murphy still made a reasonable profit after having paid Dundas to repair the movement. He wouldn't have known it would sell in 1992, but he got the repair done anyway and it did sell - for a price he was happy with. So it hardly seems likely that the repair cost would have broken the bank at any time previously or been high enough to put him off.

                            Love,

                            Caz
                            X
                            "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                              "The hoaxer can't risk those scratches being examined at a later date and found to be recent, because that would prove his own work even more recent"

                              Can someone explain what the above means and how such a thing would be possible bearing in mind the experts can't even date the "Maybrick' scratches with any degree of certainty?
                              It's not so much a case of being able to 'date' any of the scratches with any degree of certainty, but the order in which they arrived on that surface. What we do know is that the Maybrick/ripper engravings are beneath all the other scratches and markings on that surface, so if there were any incidental scratches there before this amateur hoaxer set to work, even tiny ones only visible under the microscope, he must have removed them - every last trace - for a reason. He didn't artificially age them; he made them vanish. Why? The only reason I can think of is that he didn't know what the experts might make of incidental scratches that were obviously already there before the Maybrick/ripper engravings were made. Would this be a red flag? I don't know.

                              But you had better hope that the Murphys both lied about several scratch marks being on that surface in early 1992, or you'll be needing your own explanation for their complete removal by a hoaxer the following year.

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by caz View Post
                                What we do know is that the Maybrick/ripper engravings are beneath all the other scratches and markings on that surface
                                I can't see that many scratches would spontaneously appear on the inside back of a gold watch, even 100+ years after its manufacture, so perhaps there weren't (m)any scratches there when the "Mabyrick" writing was laid down. Once it was, the distressing/aging process would have created its own set of scratches which, naturally, the "Maybrick" writing would have lain beneath.
                                Last edited by Sam Flynn; 03-29-2018, 09:36 AM.
                                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                                Comment

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