Tuesday, 20 September 2011

More tales from ebay

I thought I may as well go on with my recent trawl through British ebay with this image by Hans Frank with the far-fetched starting bid of £150 (or as Clive would say delusional starting bid). I will tell you all now, the University of Wales offloaded this hapless woodcut some time last year for quite alot less. And I would do the same with the one that I own but I can't be bothered to go through the rigmarole. I have tried over the years to like this print and failed. As Hans Frank goes, it's pretty tedious. It did serve as a model for Arthur Rigden Read's Stormy Seas, which is about the best thing I can say for it - and that isn't much. This print was sold in the British provinces and is pretty common here. Mine originally came from George Nobel in Nottingham who sold alot nicer things by Frank to the Castle Museum but theirs have succumbed to the Frank foxing. [To my utter astonishment, it sold for £150 - to an Austrian buyer, I think. He could have had mine for half the price.]

I wouldn't normally have included the Morton twin's Spring Rhapsody here but, as it happens, the dealer has seen fit to include a helpful photo of The Nottingham Journal which had been used by Boots the Framers to back the thing. Goodness knows why but I think we can safely conclude that Nobel's flogged this print as well. Today, on ebay? £99 is the starting bid. A mild improvement on Frank but not much. These are exactly the kinds of colour woodcuts that were churned out, are pretty common by comparison with, say, Kenneth Broad or Ada Collier, who were just so much better. Incidentally, look carefully at those photographs of Concord and Cavendish. I am pretty sure the paper has been well trimmed. This would decrease the value enormously.

Shall we start at twenty-five? OK, ten. [Unsold. But it's back].


I also must  add Julia Mavrogordato's Autumn at an eye-watering start of £180 with a description that implies she was a Grosvenor School artist. Who are these people trying to kid? No one, the seller included, has any idea whether Mavrogordato had even heard of the Grosvenor School, let alone studied with Flight. First you try and suggest an artist has been missed and then whack on a starting bid of £180? Plus it has been framed. It's about as Grosvenor School as I am.  [Even so, it did sell, as Clive predicted it would - £190.]


  1. another offensive posting - You seem to forget that this the sellers property - unless you are prepared to stand in front of the seller and tell he is "delusional" then perhaps you should NOT publish your opinion to the world.

  2. These were justified criticisms and it's high time they were made.


  3. Well Charles, I am in complete agreement with you, and just because someone has the chutzpah to put a price on something doesn't mean that it isn't open to criticism. Let me say also that one person making a criticism makes not a groundswell of disagreement...it's also ironic that the seller/commenter demands a confrontation but has no interest in leaving a name or any details.
    Regarding the Mavrogordato, it is the LEAST appealing of all her linocuts, and has no life, movement or true appeal. The only part that is appealing is the sky, but it's way too busy, and the framing makes the piece seem even busier, but also calls questions to mind on why it ISN'T shown out of the frame. As we both know, many of these Ebay floggers should have their listings and blather under the title of fictions. It is very clear that there is nothing to do with Grosvenor and Mavrogordato, but it won't help in the sale unless everything printed from industrial linoleum during the 20's cannot be connected to Claude Flight.
    The Frank is wildly over-priced and under-imagined...and no doubt it will not be the first or last time on the Ebay carousel.
    I would also like to say that there was NOTHING offensive about your posting, in fact, I would say you were being generous...very generous. I say bravo to you Charles.

  4. Whoever left the comment, Clive, I've seen them with their rings at auctions, trying to intimidate people who outbid them. They are exactly the people who bring the trade into disrepute.


  5. Well you may be right but based on their outrage, I have the feeling it is one of the sellers. Because let's face it, none of those items you mentioned, are moving....although the Mavrogordato will probably sell because of her name, the same seller has been trying to sell it on their website for....500 pounds. It's a relative bargain...relatively.
    Anyway, like I said, you are spot on...and perhaps that's why they had such a feeling of pique. C

  6. Well, the Teller of Tales gathered an audience and has struck some nerves in Linoland. Maybe because he's an erudite story teller and his carefully build platform proving the perfect place addressing his insight and knowledge. With as erudite commentary from observers and the licking of wounds from hurt and anonymous chirpers the auditory can only benefit and learn a great deal. And make some savings. Nice lecture, thanks both.