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Are Your Signed Books Authentic?
Are Our Signed Books Real?
We sell more Signed or Autographed Mountaineering Books than any bookseller in the history of mountaineering literature. Customers often ask us, 'How do I know that these signatures are authentic?'
Chessler Books has been the world's leading bookseller of Mountaineering Books since 1984, and has a world-wide reputation for excellent products and service. However, due to the reach of the Internet, we meet new customers every day who do not know about us, and desire more than word of mouth to know that what they are getting is the real thing.
Ed Hillary sitting on his deck in Auckland New Zealand in August 2007.
He is holding the actual ice ax that he used on Mount Everest.
Photo taken by and copyright by Michael Chessler
We have always liked authors to sign our books personally, and now try to get as many books as possible signed as it enhances their value, and allows us to offer a book that is worth more than what other on-line booksellers are offering, thus allowing us to make a profit and stay in business. In many cases, we charge just the normal cover price for a new book that is signed, and only charge extra if it was expensive to get the book signed, or if the book is scarce anyway. In some cases we have paid the authors, similar to as if they were giving a lecture, or we have donated to their favorite charity if they do not need the money.
We have made many trips to see the world's greatest climbers, Sir Edmund Hillary, Peter Hillary, Heinrich Harrer, Anderl Heckmair, Maurice Herzog, Reinhold Messner, Peter Habeler, Sir Chris Bonington, Doug Scott, Jim Whittaker, Lou Whittaker, Tom Hornbein, Barry Corbett, Royal Robbins, Charles Houston, Bob Bates, Paul Petzoldt, Bradford Washburn, Harvey Carter, Layton Kor, Nick Clinch, John Roskelley, plus newer climbers such as Conrad Anker, Lynn Hill, John Gill, Steve Roper, Allen Steck, Jeff Lowe, Catherine Destivelle, Tomaz Humar, Apa Sherpa, Pete Takeda, Steve House, Pat Ament, Jim Bridwell, John Middendorf, plus dozens more. In many cases, the climbers visit us when they are in Colorado.
Just the enormity of the task of getting books signed should tell you that it is real. We do not know of any other bookseller in the world who has gone to the effort to get as many books signed as we do, in any field.
Here is some photographic authentication:
Michael Chessler with Edmund and June Hillary in
Auckland New Zealand in 2005, where Ed is signing books for us!
Greg Child, climber of Everest and K2, and author of several books.
Nick Clinch, climber, author, raconteur and book collector.
John Gill, the first master of Bouldering.
Anderl and Trudle Heckmair, Bergfuhrer. Eiger First Ascent.
Charles Houston, K2 1938 and K2 1953.
Stephen Venables Everest and Himalayan climber, author
Jon Krakauer, the right man at the right place at the right time.
Maurice Herzog. See how he grips a pen with no fingers!
His handwriting was actually excellent and readable!
Babu Chirri Sherpa, who had the record for ten Everest ascents, and fastest climb from Bascamp to Summit, under 17 hours. Died in 2001.
Hot Henry Barber. The best rock climber in the world in the 1970s.
Chris Bonington, in Gary Neptune's front yard, with Mike Chessler
The Austro-Hungarian Empire. (My wife Heinke Forfota is Hungarian, and Kurt Diemberger is Austrian. They love to chat in German.)
Heinrich Harrer, another Austrian who also liked to chat with Heinke in German! Died 2006.
Tomaz Humar. The modern Messner. Died 2009.
Jamling Tenzing, showing me his father's Porter Book. The book is signed by Tilman, Shipton, Ruttledge, Lambert, Denman, etc. Tenzing didn't get it signed by the Brits in 1953, as even though he was the Sirdar, he was also a full team member.
Goran Kropp. On his one and only book tour. Died 2002.
Jeff Lowe, master of Ice Climbing
Royal Robbins and Tom Frost
Pete Schoening. Died 2004.
Brad and Barbara Washburn, Roger Bilham, 2 Nepali Ministers. Brad died 2007.
Jim Whittaker, with Mike Chessler
Jim Wickwire, with Mike Chessler
Reinhold Messner in our bookshop.
Certificates of Authenticity
We live in two worlds, the climbing world and the book world. In neither is the use of a 'Certificate of Authenticity' a common practice. Our feeling is that COA's are used to sell cheap massed produced fake collectibles such as you buy on a TV shopping channel or eBay, and their use would actually debase what we do.
If you want a fake Newspaper Page of the moon landing signed by Buzz Aldrin, get a COA. If you want a real first edition of Heinrich Harrer's White Spider, which he signed for us in his Museum in Huttenberg Austria, or a real first edition of Annapurna that Maurice Herzog signed for us in his living room in Paris, please buy from us.
Some customers have told us they want a COA so that when they or their descendants sell the book sometime in the future, they can provide proof that the signatures are real. Our only reply can be, they are asking us to help make a sale between two people, neither of whom are our customers, and both of whom may not even be born yet! I am afraid that is not part of our job description.
You may see Signed Books similar to ours on other Book Dealer's websites on the Internet, but at higher prices. Does that mean that their copies are somehow better than ours? Not really, as many of them bought their copies from us!
This is a fairly complete list of climbers who have signed books for us. In addition there are many authors who are non-climbers such as Peter Gillman and Alexa Johnston who have signed our books.
Everest first ascent SIGNED by
Robert Mads Anderson,
Babu Chhirri Sherpa,