Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Original Art: on eBay - Garth 'proofs' and Maasai warrior with earring

Maasai with earring by Frank Bellamy
Thanks to Bill Storie for the alert. I STILL don't understand how my many Bellamy alerts don't pick some things up and I'd consider myself quite a search expert!

Two very interesting pieces are available on eBay right now

The first is the one above, which I have seen before and described on the Frank Bellamy Checklist website as "Masai warrior #3 Portrait with spear - warrior has large circular earring. Painting in monochrome on 'parchment'"

The seller describes it thus:

Frank Bellamy Painting. If you know of Frank Bellamy, you don't need me to explain his influence or contribution to Comic art illustration, this piece I believe is one of only 2. The other I believe was part of Bob Monkhouse's collection. Known as Maasai Warrior or African Warrior. Produced during a trip to Africa. The photos seriously do not do it justice. The black background just doesn't work in photos. The colours are stunning, typical of Bellamy. Purchased as you can see, many years ago, it just stopped me in my tracks and still does. Full provenance including original sale receipt and valuation from 1996.(£2500.00). Serious collectors only please who appreciate this guy's work . Framed size (w)570mm x (h)675mm.
Maasai with earring by Frank Bellamy
I've seen some others done by Frank that Nancy, Frank's widow, kept in her house until her death. They actually look to be done on calfskin vellum in my opinion, although I must say that I haven't touched the actual art. The seller is absolutely right about the photos not doing this justice as Paul Holder has photographed so many pieces that are similar and had real problems representing them in photo form.

Regarding the seller's comment about "produced during a trip" I don't believe that Bellamy did any drawing during his only short trip to Morocco. He famously never made a trip to Kenya (nor Tanzania) where the Maasai come from. So actually photo-reference and imagination produced this, in my opinion.

Is it worth £3000? I'll leave that to those who can afford this unique offering. It's great that we have the provenance coming from F. L. Dinsdale Limited, which according to a cursory glance at Google was established in 1926 and is still restoring art from a private address in the town. They used to have a shop in HorseMarket - I'm looking to Tony Smith, a local Bellamy fan, to correct me!

The second item(s) are "syndication sheets" of Garth strips. These are, I believe, the sheets sent to overseas papers to use for reprinting strips. The seller thinks they are proofs sent to Bellamy for approval, but I doubt this. Bellamy was fortunate to receive an additional income every time Garth was syndicated around the world. (If you search for "Garth" on the International reprints page of the website, you'll see it was quite extensively reprinted!).

I have seen some of these that someone else owns and their clarity is beautiful. If we ever see a full archival black and white Garth, these are where I would go first.

Garth G289-G294: The Wreckers

Garth G301-G306: The Wreckers
Garth H16-H21: The Wreckers

Garth H22-H27: The Wreckers

The seller's description states:

Frank Bellamy, Garth, PRINTERS PROOF. I have several original printers proofs of the 6 days that the illustrations would have appeared in the Daily Mirror. these were sent to Frank for his approval, before publication. [See my comments above - Norman] Printed on an "astralux" paper, they have a glossy surface. Also because of their age some have yellowed slightly. I have been a fan of Bellamy since childhood and these are part of my collection of his work. These are absolutely "one off". NOT copies, absolutely original. Note they are not the illustrations, but the very first print of how they would appear in the "Mirror". Each sheet is A3 and the 6 episodes are the same size as they would have been in the newspaper. Selecting a particular "sheet" or "week" , I agree could prove difficult, but if you have a particular "week" or "weeks", Please contact me and I will try to match up with your request. If you wanted to buy a multiple I will negotiate a final value. They are unframed and unmounted. Price is for 1 (one) original A3 print of 6 episodes..
So don't think you get all 4 sheets (one image on the seller's page is duplicated) you are buying one for £50 plus postage. Somebody was confused and asked the question on eBay and the seller kindly shared his answer:

Q: Sorry, I don't understand what you're selling here. Are you selling one of the pages with six episodes on ? Or just one of those episodes? Which one? If you need to select, how? And what size? A3 ? If I am missing something obvious, apologies. Thanks, 09-Nov-16
A: Hi, Thanks for your query, Each page is A3, with 6 episodes or strips, from what would have been the Monday to Saturday editions of the Daily Mirror. The strips are the same size as they would have appeared in the paper, for Bellamy's approval before publication. [Again, see my comments above - Norman] I would never cut them up that would be criminal !! I agree that selecting a particular "week" might be difficult, but if you have a particular favourite or favourites, let me know and I will endeavour to find. If you wanted to buy a few, I would do a deal on total cost. These are absolutely unique, the FIRST PRINT of his Garth work, not a copy, but the actual print. I have owned them for many years.
I've written to the seller for more information, if any is available and will update this if any is forthcoming.

SUMMARY 

WHAT?: Maasai with earring
WHERE?: eBay
SELLER: wexysench
BUY IT NOW: £3000.00 £2,000 or Make an Offer
ENDING PRICE: 
END DATE: 28 November 2016 28 December 2016
No of bids:
No of bidders:

SUMMARY 

WHAT?: Garth 'proof sheets
WHERE?: eBay
SELLER: wexysench
BUY IT NOW: £50.00 - choose one of 4 offered
ENDING PRICE: 
END DATE: 28 November 2016
No of bids:
No of bidders:

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