I have been asked by quite a few list members about this jersey on eBay:
Item number: 8788120890
IMHO, as wonderful as it would be to say otherwise, I doubt very much this ever passed through Eddy's hands. To the best of my knowledge, the only times you didn't see the world champion stripes on the neck and sleeves of Eddy's jerseys post-1967 were: 1. occasionally on track/time trial silk jerseys 2. race leader / national team / national champion jerseys 2. off-and-on during the 1976 season with Fiat.
The other telling difficulty I have with the seller's story is the definitive recollection that the jersey was given to the seller "on the morning of the 1971 Tour of Flanders." At that point in the season, Eddy was the reigning Belgian National Champion. As such, he would have been racing in the National Champion's jersey. (A training jersey perhaps? Okay, but we are then back to the issue of the missing CdM stripes on the neck and sleeves.)
Frankly, I don't care one iota that Denson is pictured holding a jersey. No doubt Denson does have some real jerseys from some known riders. The one pictured, however, has too many inconsistencies to pass the smell test.
Personally, I wouldn't touch this jersey with a ten foot pole. Okay, maybe as a vintage retro-rider jersey at $150, but certainly not as a Merckx jersey. FWIW, off all the incarnations of the Molteni jersey, the one in the picture is by far the most common to find at the swap meets in Belgium and France.
Sadly, when it comes to collecting jerseys, the passionate are often the most gullible. We want to believe. However, what we often need the most is the good sense to know when it is best to walk away from something.
Brett Horton San Francisco, CA