Ion Idriess was a prolific signer of his books. Someone said in jest that the trick was to find a book he hadn't signed! But it wasn't always that way. Beverley Eley in her biography, Ion Idriess, notes a couple of occasions when Idriess was reticent to autograph his work: in 1933 in Perth (p.175) and in 1934 in Melbourne (p.271). But if he was a little reluctant early on, he soon got into the swing of things. Beverley Eley says, "In the files [at A & R] there are fourteen pages of the various inscriptions he used as messages from the author (p.369)." Fourteen pages is a lot! It reminds me of when I was a teacher and I had some stock standard phrases to put on pupil's reports: "works well," "could try harder," "room for improvement!" If you have been a collector of Idriess for a while, no doubt you have acquired some signed works, and you will be familiar with some of his inscriptions: Cheerio; With a Cheerio; Cheerio, Good Luck; A cheerio and good luck; Good fortune; Jolly good fortune; Jolly good times; Merry day; Happy year; Happy days; Cheery year; Prosperity; Yours sincerely; etc.
The earliest signed book of Idriess that I have is a 1934 (first edition) The Yellow Joss.
As you can see, it has the rather boring inscription, Yours Sincerely, like the end of a letter, though it is not actually addressed to anyone. Right to the end of the Second World War - and beyond - Idriess' signature remained pretty uniform. But sometime after the war he dropped the "L" - for Llewellyn (and never seemed to have used his other name - Windeyer - his mother's maiden name; Eley, p.19) and starting signing as simply Ion Idriess - at least as early as 1950, but I note that he sometimes lapsed back into using the L even after that. This is from a later edition of Madman's Island, signed in 1950 without the L of LLewellyn:
He did at times date his inscriptions, as here with the year in full. Sometimes he abbreviated the year with an apostrophe and sometimes he added the month as well. Mostly he signed on the title page, but not always. This is Isles of Despair, with his inscription on the page before the Title page - probably because there was more room.
Often, as in the Madman's Island example above, Idriess would address someone by name. If he knew the person concerned, he might share more than his stock inscription. Very occasionally he would have a co-signer. I have seen a copy online of Flynn of the Inland signed by both Idriess and John Flynn, perhaps not signed at the same time. I believe Idriess and Joris may have both signed Stone of Destiny or version two, The Diamond (I have a copy of the latter signed by Albert Joris only). But the only book I have with dual signatures is the joint work, The Silent Service, signed by both Idriess and Torpedo-man Jones:
A question for collectors is: How much more value does a signature add? I like to think it certainly adds some, just as a dust jacket does. Signatures alone of famous people can be worth rather a lot and a book signed by the author adds to its value. But perhaps not double, as someone else has also said, in the case of Idriess. But I do have a book by G Bernard Shaw, which, though a first edition, is not worth that much: but because it is signed by Shaw and his signature is collectible and prized, my book is worth a lot more than unsigned - a lot more than double!
Some collector's prefer pristineness: I like provenance as well (see my article on those themes in this forum). But other factors come into play besides the signature: Dates give extra provenance. And the person Idriess may have addressed in the inscription is also important: the more important the person, the more valuable the book may be. So I value more highly a couple of books signed by Idriess and addressed to Paul Wenz - the noted French-Australian author, and to Walter Burns, the one time controversial A&R head (see, e.g., Eley, pp.347-352). I also have some books by other authors (Charles Barrett, Douglas Lockyer, Frank Clune, etc) addressed to Idriess which I value more than if they didn't have those inscriptions. Idriess too is an important person!