23rd August 2010 BLOG


Thanks to Readers

Many thanks to all the people who have sent me kind wishes after a competition between my right leg and a stack of glass, which the glass won fairly convincingly and removed my right lower shin! Looks like being a long time before I leap around a table tennis table again. With a little help from my friends and some crutches, I did manage to get a stall together at the Stoneleigh auction and the Bluebell Railway Fair. Both were well-attended and showed that there is continued interest in railway art as well as hardware and model railways, although most stall-holders I spoke to mentioned that many people browsed but not so many were purchasing during the current economic climate. Thanks also to Tony at GWRA for his feedback on the Bredon Village carriage print details.

Landscapes under the Luggage Rack
I continue to meet people at events who know nothing of the book Landscapes under the Luggage Rack. This applied to an artist who called in on my stand at the Bluebell. He was delighted to see many works of artists he admired on display, but didn’t realise a book existed on the subject. He told me he had lived opposite the poster artist Walter Spradbery. Unfortunately, I have no copies left of the 1st and 2nd editions, but am in the process of working on a new completely revised and enlarged 3rd edition. The first two volumes were produced in the ‘old way’, printed from film (in Singapore in my case). This time I will have to re-do the whole work in digital format but this will give me the opportunity to add many better and new images and information to the expanded tome. A man from South Wales contacted me last week asking me where to purchase a copy of the book. I suggested using the internet for 2nd hand books from sources like Amazon. He phoned me a few days later and said the cheapest 2nd edition he could find online was £65 and the dearest was £135! I wish I had held on to a few more!

Original Artwork
I managed to locate several original carriage print paintings at various provincial auctions in recent months – St Peter Port, Guernsey (Buckle), Gorey Harbour, Jersey (Sherwin), Hastings (Sherwin), Bishops Stortford (Squirrell) and River Allen near Bardon Mill (Squirrell). These were from several sources and just happened to come on the market during the same period by sheer coincidence. Prices for original artwork have risen – most of these sold for between £600-1200 reflecting the growing interest in commercial art in Britain. I am glad now that I was unsuccessful in my attempt to purchase Frank Mason’s W.R. artwork for Dartmouth at one of the Morphets sales. It went for over £4000 plus BP!

Recording Britain
I also finally managed to obtain the original four volumes of the book Recording Britain via Ebay. This was a fascinating project published in 1946 by the Oxford University Press in association with the Pilgrim Trust. Initiated by the Government and overseen by a committee including Sir William Russell Flint, the books contain many images of Britain by leading artists. Locations were deliberately chosen to record images of the country before changes occurred (or possible bombs obliterated the views). Carriage print and poster artists include (in no particular order) S R Badmin, Edward Walker, Wilfred Fairclough, A S Hartrick, Kenneth Rowntree, R T Cowern, Charles Knight, Adrian King, Rowland Hilder & Sidney Causer. A one-volume colour book of the same name, illustrating the best of these was published towards the end of the last century.

Private Treaty Sale of Poster Artwork
In the July edition of Railway Antiques Gazette, I mentioned the sale of a number of Norman Wilkinson original paintings for LMS classic posters. I have now been asked by the vendor to sell these by private treaty. Images and details of the following artwork by the above artist can be viewed on the website www.travellingartgallery.com:-

Gleneagles Golf (King’s Course), Iona, Anglesey, Fishing in Ireland, Inverness, Loch Lomond, Cairngorms (Scotland), Rhuddlan Castle.

All the paintings are on canvas and unframed. Those genuinely interested can view the artwork in NE London by special arrangement. Please email julie14brooks@yahoo.co.uk to arrange viewing. Successful bidders will have submitted the best offer/s (over the reserves), received by me by the end of 31st October 2010. Payment to the vendor (in full) must be cleared before the items can be collected. Please contact me for more details if required at PO Box 485, Bugbrooke, Northampton NN7 3ZY. Tel: 0845 8333301 or 07971 168299 or email greg.norden@btinternet.com

Psychology of Collectors
It was interesting hearing people discussing the psychology of ‘collecting’ on the radio recently and listening to an expert explain that it was pretty well a mental disease! Well, I won’t attempt to defend the collectors who are probably far happier in life than the said expert, but will simply give one simplistic summary of ‘psychology’ – neurotics are people who build castles in the air – psychotics are those who live in the castles – and the psychiatrist is the one who makes a pretty penny collecting the rent.