I was also contacted for authentication of the letter, which took me
about 1 minute to dispense. There were other points not covered here
that also are highly suspicious or ridiculous.
If the recipient is such a dear friend, why sign the full name?
The paper, as mentioned, was not produced then, and not in that size.
I did that research through a paper company after the fact. Would he
not have used stationery? That was more like the Joplin way, I
It mentions recording more piano rolls, yet the date is outside of the
dates that he had his piano roll sessions.
Note that almost everything in that letter mentions a benchmark in his
life, yet they are so far apart. Why group it all in this
correspondence? And hadn't the opera been done by maybe three to four
years at this time? And had not the staging and subsequent failed
efforts already happened? Why "finish" something already done?
The forensics speak for themselves, but other factors speak just as
loudly. Ed Berlin, I believe, also dismissed it. I'm not sure, but I
think this site owner has been looking around for some sort of
authentication, just to be able to say it has been authenticated for
sale. I hope I am wrong, and don't have enough evidence to support
this contention, but if an expert as notable as Ed Berlin makes it
clear, and perhaps down the line (I know I'm not at the top of the
list as I'm not as much a Joplin expert) why keep going? That is what
raises my suspicions.
Now anybody who searches for more on it will at least have these
entries to look for. This is almost as bad as the oven-baked "first
edition" Maple Leaf that was on eBay a few years ago (actually sold),
which we believe was really a 1975 reprint from Sedalia that was
Glad this was brought out. Thanks Joel