Dorothy Parker Autographs

There are many letters, books, and other ephemera sold with Dorothy Parker’s signature affixed. In an effort to help weed out what is real and what is not, here is a sample of what are genuine, and not genuine, Dorothy Parker signatures.

Signature 5
Genuine. This comes from the 1992 U.S. Post Office First Day of Issue souvenier program. It was handed out at the ceremonies in West End, NJ. You would think the government would get an authentic signature!
Signature 6
Genuine. This 1951 hotel registration card signed by Dottie was auctioned on Ebay for $217 in September 1999. See the check-in date? The day before Mrs. Parker’s 58th birthday.
Signature 2
Genuine. A signed copy of Not So Deep as a Well.
Signature 3
Not genuine. Sent in by bargain-hunting Kristen from L.A. “I found the book in a junk store a few years ago. It is one of those books that contains record albums (78’s).” This old “Ex Libris” label is probably not Dottie’s John Hancock.
Signature 4
Genuine. This comes from an Ebay auction of Laments for the Living (1930). Of course a first edition. It went for $305 in November 1999 and looks a tad like No. 1 or No. 2. Maybe because she was rushed signing this at a book signing?

Fake letter and signature made by forger Lee Israel. Photo by Lora Louise Marie, 2016.
There are many fake letters attributed to the late literary forger Lee Israel (author of Can You Ever Forgive Me) creations. Israel faked letters from many famous writers (including Noël Coward, Eugene O’Neill, Lillian Hellman) and her Dorothy Parker fakes were always from the Norma Place address in West Hollywood. This also doesn’t look at all like her signature. Unfortunately these fakes are still in circulation, and this particular letter (in 2016) is hanging in the Dorothy Parker Suite of the Algonquin Hotel. The fakes look and sound authentic. Two of them were so good they got by Barry Day, and he put them in a collection of Coward letters. Beware.