In the 1970s, after a constant weekly deadline, Bellamy left regular comics work and took up illustrating 'Garth', in the Daily Mirror on a daily basis! To supplement his income he did illustrations for the Sunday Times Colour Magazine and the Radio Times. But he had always wanted to be seen as a 'serious' or fine artist rather than a comic strip artist and was proud of his work in these latter magazines.
In the early 1960s technology made it possible for Paul Hamlyn (who 30 years earlier had had success with "Books for Pleasure" - a cheap 'coffee table book' imprint) to found "Prints for Pleasure" - a cheap process meant low cost art for the masses. Even my Mum bought one as they were art at a very low price on a mock canvas! Bellamy sent in some of his work but there is no evidence to show any of these were accepted! One might see why when one looks at the sort of thing that was produced (Weeping children, heavily coloured sunsets, search Google for Zinkeisen Childhood as one certain example).
What does this have to do with the piece that is currently on sale on eBay, illustrated above?
You'll notice whoever framed this original artwork left the 8" (eight inches) visible at the bottom. This appears to be an art director's instruction as to the size this should be reproduced.And that's what reminded me I had seen somewhere that Bellamy had received payment for a design (or designs in the plural) from a printing and design company in 1970.
Equity Designers and Equity Printers Limited of 15-21 Ganton Street London W1 appears to have been run by D.K.Humby (Managing Director) and J. B. Blight (Company Secretary). Their publicity stated they were "Graphic designers, Lithographic and silkscreen printers". They asked Bellamy to produce three designs:
- Small rocket motif £15
- Large rocket motif £25
- Take-off rocket motif £25
Bellamy loved sports cars and owned a Datsun 260Z himself and it doesn't seem far fetched to think he might have used the Daimler signifier SP250 on this rocket ship!
When I first saw this design I was reminded of something from a 'Thunderbirds' strip that Bellamy illustrated. TV21 #82, the last episode of the 'Atlantic Tunnel' story has the Hood trying to escape International Rescue. The fins on the aircraft are in my opinion similar.
|The Hood's aircraft form TV21 #82|
The seller let me know he purchased it at a fine art auction so the provenance is sound
I will update the sale details, as usual below, when the auction ends